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Hack attack leaves ISP's future in doubt

Cloud Nine may be forced to shut down its operations permanently following a denial-of-service attack, as talks continue with fellow ISP V21
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

The future of UK Internet service provider (ISP) Cloud Nine's customers is still uncertain after sources within fellow ISP V21 revealed that talks regarding the sale of Cloud Nine's assets are still taking place.

Cloud Nine was forced to shut down its operations this week after becoming the victim of a Denial Of Service attack. The company had attempted to repel the onslaught, which included attacks on its email and DNS servers, but on Tuesday it announced that it was closing down, and invited other ISPs to bid for its assets.

"We felt we had a moral duty not to expose our customers to possible attacks as well," explained chief executive Emeric Miszti in a statement. It is thought that Cloud Nine's insurance cover is not sufficient to pay for the cost of rebuilding its systems.

Some reports have claimed that a deal has already been done between Cloud Nine and V21, but it seems that any agreement is still being discussed. "V21 is in negotiation with Cloud-Nine at the moment," a source within V21 told ZDNet UK News. "There should be an announcement later on today," he added.

Cloud Nine customers are understandably worried about the situation. Some are concerned that they may be forcibly transferred to V21 when they would rather move to another ISP, while others are afraid that they may lose data that is currently stored on Cloud Nine's servers.

Existing V21 users are also thought to be concerned that the quality of V21's service may drop if a large number of former Cloud Nine customers suddenly join them.

In a Denial of Service attack, hackers attempt to disable a network or Web-connected computer. High-profile victims in the past have included Yahoo! and Microsoft.

For all security-related news, including updates on the latest viruses, hacking exploits and patches, check out ZDNet UK's Viruses and Hacking News Section.

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