Mitch Hill, chief financial officer for Buy.com, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the site was the target of a denial-of-service attack, a form of cyber warfare that directs a huge number of information packets at a Web site and overwhelms its server. Based on the company's initial investigation, the attack originated at multiple points, including Chicago, Boston and New York.
Buy.com said it was flooded with 800MB of data per second. That's equal to eight times the site's capacity. Buy.com said that, on average, the site runs at only 30 percent of its capacity.
Hill said that although the timing of the attack with the company's initial public offering did appear to be suspect, there is no evidence yet that the attack was planned to coincide with the IPO.
"It is unfortunate that whoever did this chose to attack us on this day," Hill said.
Down several hours
Prior to the outage the site was experiencing higher than normal traffic because of publicity related to the IPO.
Hill said the site remained up and running in areas of Southern California, but on the East Coast and in other parts of the United States the site was down for 2 1/2 to three hours before filters were put in place to block false traffic and redirect legitimate requests.
"We experienced a slowdown of sales," Hill said. "It won't have a material impact on the business, I can promise you that."
Hill said the company has not yet contacted the FBI but will likely contact authorities Wednesday as more details of the attack emerge.