A new political platform was hit with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack and knocked offline just an hour after it was endorsed by Hillary Clinton. In a tweet on Sunday (3 September), Clinton encouraged followers to sign up for Verrit which describes itself as a "media platform for the 65.8 million" people who supported Clinton in the 2016 presidential election that provides them verified, easy-to-share facts, stats and memes to discuss and debate with others online.
The website, however, stopped loading shortly after Clinton's post.
The founder of Verrit, Peter Daou, later told Recode that the company's site was targeted by hackers with a "pretty significant and sophisticated" cyberattack that forced the website offline.
DDoS attacks are designed to flood a targeted server with a deluge of fake traffic to cripple the site and knock it offline.
"Hillary Clinton endorsed @Verrit, our new media platform, an hour ago and we've already been subjected to a denial-of-service attack," Daou tweeted. "We're working on restoring it ASAP."
Daou, who was a former aide to Clinton's 2008 campaign, said he wants Verrit to become a space for Clinton supporters to "call home and feel like they're not facing attacks and smears and harassment and false narratives and negative talking points".
He declined to divulge the name of the hosting company and said he does not know who the perpetrators behind the attack were. However, he noted that the traffic driven by Clinton's endorsement was not responsible for the outage. He added that her support garnered over 10,000 new followers on Twitter for Verrit.
Daou said they plan to launch a weekly podcast this autumn as well as a premium version and VerritTV channel on YouTube in 2018.
The website is now back up and running.
In a series of tweets, Daou said he and his wife Leela founded the platform because Clinton's voters are "unrepresented in the media".
"@Verrit is necessary because we need to talk about how misogyny, sexism, and racism plague our politics and impact our elections," he wrote. "@Verrit is necessary because if you're #StillWithHer, you endure constant harassment and bullying from the radical right and fringe left. @Verrit is necessary because future generations deserve to know the FACTS about how we got here, or the same injustices will be repeated."
He added that platform is "our way of declaring independence, repudiating false narratives, and telling our OWN story".