Nov. 6, 2011 -- Fans of a rugby team in southwestern France have fallen victim to a misguided cyber attack after German hackers apparently mistook their website for an offshoot of the German stock exchange and shut it down for two weeks. The fansite alledges it now has bigger traffic than the real DAX.
Without realizing that the rugby enthusiasts from the French city of Dax had nothing to do with Germany's similarly named, DAX index of blue chip companies on the German stock market, anonymous hackers breached the defenses of allezdax.com (Go Dax), effectively paralyzing the fan site for two weeks.
For a site that usually sees around 700 page views a day -- 1,200 on game days -- the servers hosting the well-known website in the rugby-loving corner of southwest France were overwhelmed by the more than 80,000 page views the onslaught triggered and crashed, remaining out of commission for two weeks.
"I only have one thing to say to them: Leave us alone!" one of the site's administrators, who identified himself only as "Stephane," told the France Bleu Gascogne radio station.
Blaming the online onslaught on a "young, spotty Teuton" who "insulted us copiously in German," Stephane said the page is now back online, reinforced with better security to protect it from attacks.
He explained the hackers had flooded their site with insults, believing it to be some offshoot of the German stock market index.
After the website's recovery, supporters of the Dax rugby club posted messages online celebrating the unexpected windfall of media publicity that followed the initial attack and two-week hiatus for the site.
"Hacked but famous," one fan's post read.
Administrators noted that as a result, allezdax.com is now twice as popular as the website of the DAX stock index in Frankfurt.
cjc -- with wires