Kim Dotcom's cloud locker service Mega came under sustained cyber attack yesterday, which affected the New Zealand-based cloud company's services for about 2.5 hours.
According to chief executive Vikram Kumar, Mega was the target of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack which saw automated bots around the world send continual website requests to Mega, eventually bringing down part of the service. Kumar tells StopPress that at its peak (which lasted for around an hour) the attack was requesting 150 gigabits per second of information.
The area which was affected is Mega's SSL layer, which maintains secure logins and sign ups to the service. Kumar says those already logged in were mostly unaffected by the attack.
"Mega's SSL layer is hosted here in New Zealand by Digiweb. I wouldn't say it's particularly vulnerable, but it is now clear this is a bottle neck for Mega," he says.
The DDoS attack wasn't unexpected, Kumar says most high profile online sites are targeted at some point in their existence. He says he's not sure where the attack originated – "It ways truly distributed" – or why Mega was targeted.
The nature of DDoS attacks make them difficult to protect against 100 percent of the time. Kumar says Mega could have done better in addressing the situation and is currently working on improvements.
"I think we can do better and we need to make some changes to the architecture and hosting plans," says Kumar.
"It's about distributing and automating our systems further."
Mega currently has two main developers: Mega Conspiracy co-accused Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk – along with several contractors. Kumar says the company is looking to make its first major hires in the near future, looking for two technology leaders to work on new functionality and support existing.
"They'll become mentors to those we hire going forward so we'd love for them to be people in New Zealand," says Kumar.
"However, we want the best guys (or women) in the world, so we'll be looking globally also."
The Mega SDK
Kumar says the next major milestone Mega is looking to accomplish is the release of its software developer kit (SDK), which allows third-party developers to connect their apps to the Mega's cloud storage while maintaining the service's cryptography and privacy technology.
"We've always seen Mega as a platform. The feedback we've gotten from developers and potential users is we need to have parity with Dropbox and the like with our platform. We hope to see a major uptake following the release of the SDK in one or two weeks," he says.
Mega is finalising the documentation and user community support before launching the SDK in earnest.
Dotcom touts Mega data
Meanwhile, prolific founder and alleged pirate/ internet freedom fighter (depending on your particular view) Kim Dotcom says his five-month-old company has reached a major milestone:
BREAKING NEWS: Only 5 months after the #Mega launch we are now pushing more bandwidth than the entire country of New Zealand.— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) June 4, 2013
Kumar explains that Dotcom's comment refers to the peak bandwidth capacity reached by Mega's data servers in Germany (hosted by Cogent), which is currently sitting around 100 Gbps.