Millions of people depend on note-taking app Evernote to store study notes, collaborative projects, photos, daily to-dos and more. Those people had a bad day yesterday (June 10), when Evernote became partly inaccessible due to an apparent denial-of-service attack.
Starting Tuesday afternoon, Evernote was unable to sync content among its servers and users' devices. Notes stored in the cloud (as opposed to stored on a tablet, smartphone or computer) became inaccessible, and notes written on one device were inaccessible from other devices.
On the Status page of its website, Evernote wrote that the service disruption was due to a denial-of-service attack. As the website was mostly unreachable as well, it's doubtful many people were able to see the message.
A denial of service (DoS) attack is a means of making a network or server inaccessible to its intended users, often by overloading it with spurious traffic until it is unable to reply to incoming requests for information. This is very different from a data breach; in DoS attacks, user data is not accessed or deleted, only made inaccessible, and account information is not compromised.
Evernote spokesperson Ronda Scott told the BBC that the attack was a "distributed denial-of-service" (DDoS) attack, which is when the flood of traffic comes from more than one outside system. Scott assured users that their data and account details were safe.
At 9:20 pm ET yesterday, Evernote posted to its Twitter page that its service was restored, adding that "there may be a hiccup or two for the next 24 hours."
Interestingly, Evernote's Status webpage has not yet been updated, leading security researcher Graham Cluley to speculate that Evernote may be having trouble reaching it. But for the most part, it appears that Evernote is now up and running as usual.