LiveJournal said today that it has been subject to "repeated, large-scale DDoS attacks" for the past two weeks. The company says that the attacks have targeted a number of different users' journals, some of whom are political in nature. While a small number of users may be targeted, all users lose their ability to publish and read on the platform when the site is taken down. "LiveJournal believes strongly in the ideal of freedom of expression," the company said, "and we're working very hard to ensure that users around the world have a place where their voices can be heard."Long-time blogging platform
Among those affected is Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who began blogging on Russian-owned LiveJournal two years ago this month. "As an active LJ user, I believe the hackers' actions to be outrageous and illegal," Medvedev reportedly wrote in Russian on his blog this week. "Both the administration of the blog and law enforcement agencies must look into the matter."
LiveJournal said it is making extensive but un-described technical changes to try to fight off the attacks. Nearly 400 users posted comments expressing support for the company's efforts (or listing their birthday wishes if they were born this month, the news update concerned several matters) within the first few hours after the statement.
"These attacks are insane," commented fiction writer and paid-account holder McGarryGirl78. "I'm glad you guys are doing everything you can but the frustration does start to get to me after a while. I know it's not your fault though so I just wish you luck on keeping the attackers at bay."
In its statement, the company urged users unable to access their journals to watch Twitter for updates. LiveJournal describes itself there as "blurring the lines between blogging and social networking... since '99." Built by now-Googler Brad Fitzpatrick 12 years ago next week, LiveJournal was acquired by SixApart six years ago and then bought by Russian media company SUP three years ago.
Cynics might shrug at the troubles of the no-longer dominant blogging/social networking service, but attacks against LiveJournal are attacks against the voices of people who choose to use that platform to publish and subscribe to the world. The ability for any everyday person to publish their thoughts and subscribe freely to their personal interests in the world is a precious historical anomaly.
Amazon traffic monitoring service Alexa says LiveJournal is the 72nd most-trafficked site on the Web, just behind the New York Times at number 71.