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Extra Life charity struck by DDoS attack during fundraising event

Extra Life charity struck by DDoS attack during fundraising event

The Extra Life website reportedly fell victim to a denial of service attack on Saturday, according to a post on the charity organization’s Facebook page.

Extra Life is associated with the Children’s Miracle Network of Hospitals.  What started out in the Sarcastic Gamer community a few years ago as a modest effort to help cheer up a young girl battling an illness has grown into a network of support that’s since raised several million dollars.  And this year, November 2nd had been scheduled to be a major donation drive by way of the Extra Life gaming marathon to raise money to support Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.

The event works much in the way runners and walk-a-thons raise money for charity:  thousands of gamers sign up to play, backed by pledges of support.

But access to the gaming marathon on the charity’s website was temporarily interrupted when the site hit some downtime Saturday.

The full post on the Extra Life Facebook page read as follows:

UPDATE: the cause of our downtime has been determined, Extra Life was subjected to a DDoS attack. Please read this important note from Jeromy:

Dear friends,

We’ve discovered that the Extra Life website experienced a DDoS attack against our datacenter. I am not sure what kind of person would DDoS a charitable initiative.

I am so sorry that you are going through this frustration today. Our entire team is purely heartbroken that someone would do this. But it has happened.

As frustrating as this is for everyone involved, it pales in comparison to what the kids we’re trying to save go through. That reality, for me personally, is about the only thing keeping me somewhat calm right now.

I am very angry and very sorry. You deserve better than this. The kids deserve better than this. Extra Life has given a lot of us some of the happiest moments in our lives.

This is not one of those moments.

Please hang with us through this.

It is important that we spread the word. Please get on every form of social media you can and tell your friends what happened. We can overcome this together.

Be ready to make up for lost time and share the news when we go live!


Jeromy “Doc” Adams

The website was eventually restored to normal operation, with a few more intermittent interruptions throughout the night. It’s unclear how the cause was determined to be a DDoS attack.

Regardless of the cause, Extra Life apparently made up for lost time in between interruptions: as of the wee hours of the morning, this year’s event had already raised over $3 million so far, with several hours still left to go in the marathon.

h/t The Escapist


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Henry Hawkins | November 3, 2013 at 9:56 am

An article on a DDoS ought to explain what a DDoS is. I’m no techie, but no ignurnt either and had to look it up. I realize it’s possible I’m the last guy to know what a DDoS is, lol.

Distributed Denial of Service

Basically, imagine having a call center. The place can only take so many callers at once. That isn’t normally a problem, and if someone is enough of a jerk to keep calling the call center, you can block him.
However, imagine if a mad scientist creates robots all over the place that will call the call center all at once. Now nobody can get through and you have no idea who to block. That is basically a DDoS, only with internet servers and hacked computers.