Below is an email received from Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, which operates Realtor.com, ListHub, Top Producer and many other real estate websites you may use. Amid many unconfirmed rumors of mergers and buyouts between Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow (as reported in Inman news, and which all of the three refused to comment on), Realtor.com and Top Producer suddenly began to experience outages of service. Move has defended itself from cyber attacks before, but this week’s attack was large enough that it had to bring in another company to help manage attack – which did NOT result in lost data or breached security. There was a ransom demand made to stop the attacks – which Move did not pay, and has updated all REALTORS with the following letter.
Industry colleagues, consumers, and customers,
I am writing to make you aware that Move, Inc. is the target of an ongoing malicious distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. This means that a person or group of people is illegally generating massive amounts of Internet traffic and pointing it at our sites, including realtor.com®, Top Producer® and other Move corporate sites.
The amount of traffic makes our services unavailable to legitimate consumers and customers. Like other technology companies, Move has defended itself from DDoS attacks in past, however the scale of this week’s attack is large enough to impact the company’s network service providers. Other major online portals received similar attacks in recent months. We have spoken with some of these companies to learn from their recent experience.
Attacks of this kind typically do not result in data loss or security breach, and we do not believe that this attack jeopardizes any data or its security on any of our websites.
Appropriate law enforcement is working to determine the attack’s origin. In connection with the attack, Move received a ransom demand, which it did not respond to. DDoS attacks on Internet-based businesses and associated ransom demands are unfortunately becoming more common.
Feel confident that Move’s technical team is working around-the-clock with the Prolexic division of Akamai Technologies, Inc., Internet security experts, and its network service providers to resolve the problem and help prevent future attacks. Our focus is to restore operations as quickly and securely as possible to provide consumers access to residential listings and to support our real estate industry customers.
Because the design of the attack is to overwhelm a system with traffic, even the redundant aspects of our systems are impacted. Move is working to migrate all its systems to a different network architecture to increase their protection. We operate a large suite of websites so its migration plan is complex and will take several days, which is typical for companies under a DDoS attack of this strength.
In addition to hearing from me, you might also hear from other leaders of our businesses. We will provide status updates on our Facebook pages. For realtor.com, visit http://ht.ly/yehzs and for Top Producer, visit http://ht.ly/yehWQ.
Fighting the good fight,
CEO, Move, Inc.