May 12, 2011, 1:55 PM

Attackers shut down Burlington Coat Factory’s e-commerce site

The site was unavailable for 45 hours until Tuesday afternoon.

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Burlington Coat Factory’s e-commerce site was down for 45 hours this week after a distributed denial of service attack, company officials tell Internet Retailer. DDoS attacks occur when perpetrators send a huge volume of traffic to web sites in an effort to overwhelm web servers and prevent shoppers from accessing the sites. The company had no explanation for the attack, but said consumer data was not compromised.

The multichannel apparel retailer’s e-commerce site started to experience intermittent outages around 4 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, which was Mother’s Day, according to web site performance monitoring firm AlertBot. The company at first tried to fight off the attack but then decided to take down the e-commerce site on Monday morning as the traffic deluge continued, says Dennis Hodgson, the retailer’s senior vice president and chief information officer. Once the retailer was “100% confident” that it had strengthened site defenses to ward off the attack, it turned the site back on at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

By that time, the Burlington site had been down for 32 consecutive hours and for 45 hours total, he says.

Hodgson would not speculate on the reasons behind the attack, nor would he or other company officials discuss the business impact of the site outage.

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