Feedly, P.F. Chang's hit with online attacks

The news aggregator faces a DDoS attack, while the restaurant chain is investigating the possibility that its customers' cards were hacked between March and mid-May.

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Feedly, a news aggregation app, is under attack.

The company reported Wednesday that it's facing a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack launched by "criminals," who the company claims are "trying to extort...money to make it stop."

Meanwhile, Asian restaurant chain P.F. Chang's told Bloomberg in an e-mailed statement Tuesday that it is investigating whether credit and debit card information has been stolen from its restaurants. That news came after security researcher Brian Krebs reported that card numbers had popped up for sale on Internet black market sites. Krebs said the cards in question were used by P.F. Chang's customers between March and May 19.

Both stories come just after mobile and Web startup Evernote saidd Tuesday that it, too, was up against a DDoS attack, but that its service was quickly restored.

It's not clear yet who is behind the recent attacks, but they further underscore just how frequently companies are being targeted by hackers. The P.F. Chang's hack, in particular, calls to mind last year's Target data breach, in which personal information of 110 million customers was stolen by hackers.

According to Bloomberg, P.F. Chang's said it was contacted by law enforcement officials and banks about the hack, suggesting that the data is indeed in the open. What remains unclear at this point, however, is whether the card information was adequately encrypted or whether customers' actual card numbers have been accessed.

For the average consumer, this means there is yet another possibility that their credit card data is being sold on the Internet's black market and could be used for illegal purchases. It also means that banks will need to cancel cards for affected customers and that consumers will need to watch their accounts closely.

A DDoS attack is a different concern for consumers. Assuming the hackers are only trying to bring the site down by overloading it with traffic, data will likely not be stolen. If, however, the hackers are working to access servers, it might not be long before we're asked to change our passwords once again. It's a common refrain as of late, amid an increasingly insecure global environment.

For its part, Feedly said that it's "making some changes" to its network infrastructure to combat the ongoing attack. The company expects to have its service back up and running in "a few more hours."

CNET has contacted both Feedly and P.F. Chang's for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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