Advertising and internet retailer revenue likely to be hit hard by global cyber attack

Marketers and internet retailers hit hard financially by global cyber attack

The global denial of service (DDOS) attack on server company Dyn that took out the likes of PayPal, Twitter, Etsy, Reddit and Spotify may have wreaked havoc on revenues for internet businesses, marketers and media owners.

Over the course of several hours a spate of three attacks restricted access to some of the world’s biggest websites and cable firms. All the companies were clients of Dyn, which is used to help consumers find sites online.

The FBI and the US department of Homeland Security are investigating the attack, which was “a sophisticated, highly distributed attack involving 10s of millions of IP addresses,” according to the company.

As well as social networks and payment services, other affected sites that had trouble staying up or functioning were the New York Times and the Playstation Network. The Atlantic said at the time of the hack that for more than one-third of companies a single hour of a DDoS malfunction could cost up to $20,000, extending to $100,000 per-hour for some firms. Losses can come from reduced web traffic and shelling out for hardware or software replacements after the attack, as well as other losses that are difficult to put a number on like customer trust and intellectual property.

AdWeek has run a report into the internet players that were majorly affected by the hack, underscoring the negative financial impact for marketers, sellers and media owners. The investigation quotes Etsy business owner Heather Daniels who sells prints online, who said that she only received two orders on Friday when she would ordinarily get about 35.

"I am self-employed, so losing an entire day of pay is financially devastating for me," Daniels said. "One of my customers ordered something that she needed to have printed [on Friday] for a party [on Saturday], and I was not able to get it to her."

AdWeek noted that “a handful of marketers” commented below the posting of its original story about the hack over the weekend to discuss ecommerce players losing sales, but pointed out that each declined to provide further comment or admission that their employer’s business had suffered as a result.

The attack has raised questions about Internet of Things (IoT) security since the attack involved a number of hardware devices like thermostats and printers.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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