In what looks like a series of co-ordinated cyber-attacks by a criminal gang, three major cloud-based services have all been knocked offline in recent days.
News aggregator Feedly, note-taking app Evernote and music streaming service Deezer have all come under attack from criminals in the last few days hours, leading to all three suffering service outages.
While Deezer and Evernote are now back online, Feedly continues to suffer from a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack which the company has said was being carried out by criminals who are "trying to extort" money from them to make it stop.
Feedly added: "We refused to give in and are working with our network providers to mitigate the attack as best as we can. We are working in parallel with other victims of the same group and with law enforcement."
Speaking about Feedly's reaction to the attack, security expert Graham Cluley said:
"I must admit I admire Feedly's attitude. It's right not to give in to the blackmailers who are essentially running an extortion racket, demanding that the cloud service pay up or be taken offline with their DDoS attack.
The danger of paying DDoS blackmailers is that you're only encouraging them to attack you more, perhaps increasing their financial demands next time."
Last night Evernote confirmed on its Twitter account that it was also subject to a denial of service attack, with the service's 100 million users see notifications on Tuesday warning them that notes taken on their desktop or smartphones had not synced with the cloud service.
Deezer, a music streaming service similar to Spotify, reported earlier in the week that it was also subject to a DDoS attack. In a blog post detailing what happened, the company said that at 4pm on Saturday "a large-scale attack via a botnet" knocked all services off line with the attacks finally stopping
It is unclear if Evernote and/or Deezer were also the victims of extortion, though considering the similar nature of the attacks and their proximity in time, it would be a surprise if they weren't.
A DDoS attack is not an uncommon attack vector for criminal gangs, as it is very cheap to rent a botnet to carry out the attack, which floods a website's server with traffic knocking it offline in the process.
Along with extortion, DDoS attacks have been used by companies to knock their competition offline for a period of time, a practice which is especially prevalent in the online gambling industry.