Denial of service attack
The attack came in the form of an illegitimate copyright violation complaint. We were told by our service provider that the domain was deactivated - without notice - because of:
"Excessive traffic to a potential copyright violating item - london_underground.swf"
We now know the complaint was illegitimate, as only copyright owners can legitimately complain or seek an injunction, but the moment we started questioning our provider about the nature/source of the complaint, the copyright matter was dropped entirely and the issue was reduced to excessive use alone.
This appears to be the service provider saving face (and you can't really blame them after pulling the site so quickly without checking the legalities first) but it flies in the face of reason when you consider that our service is supposed to include unlimited bandwidth.
(For the record, The London Underground Song is still offline, but we plan to bring it back today with the SWF file called up from a different provider.)
We still don't know who made the complaint, but whoever they were, they certainly scared the bejesus out of our service provider. 'Nervy' doesn't begin to describe their manner.
Many already hold the suspicion that the attack came from Labour HQ. We cannot confirm this at this stage. However, we do know that well over 100 individual visitors have viewed this site from government servers. Our tracking shows the bulk of them originate from the all-purpose HMG server gis.gov.uk, but there are also many council-level servers in the stats including surreycc.gov.uk and brighton-hove.gov.uk
There have also been a dozen or so visitors accessing the site via Telewest, who are a major service provider for the Labour Party.
Now, all this proves is that certain people are taking an interest, but the factor of motivation needs to be considered. Unless the attack originated from a deranged Paul Weller fan, the only people we see who would have cause to disable the site would be ardent (and/or paid) supporters of Tony Blair.
If it's not someone from the Labour Party then they should be feeling pretty stupid right now, as the site was downed for less than a day and - as we have pointed out - the result is that many suspect Labour was behind this cowardly attack.
Great favour you did them, buddy. Congratulations for not having the guts/ability to take us head-on.