Two Castles apology after site hit by ‘cyber attack’

Two Castles Run
Runners arrive at Kenilworth Castle. NNL-150614-175354009
Two Castles Run Runners arrive at Kenilworth Castle. NNL-150614-175354009

Organisers of the Two Castles 10k have apologised to runners after two days of persistent website issues and ‘a cyber attack from Eastern Europe’.

Hundreds of hopeful entrants were left furious this week after a registration website was shut down within an hour - a problem later blamed on a “malicious” software attack.

Entries for the popular race were postponed until the next morning. But huge demand left the site flooded as hundreds of runners logged on at the same time - resulting in a frenzy and only some were able to register.

Despite the problems, all 4,146 places for the charity race from Warwick Castle to Kenilworth Castle on June 12 sold out on Wednesday.

Organisers from Kenilworth Rotary Club said: “Systems were working but slower than we wanted and we are aware some people suffered frustration.”

A joint statement from the club and Leamington Cycling and Athletics Club put the initial error down to the server being “overloaded with denial of service (DOS) attacks maliciously trying to sabotage the entry system”.

It read: “The online registration system went live when 1,500 would-be competitors were waiting to register.

“Exactly at noon the site suffered a multi-pronged DOS attack from five IP addresses in Eastern Europe . This lasted nearly two hours.

“The effect was to make the system virtually crash with only 53 people able to register.

“The difficult decision had to be made to shut down in the early afternoon.

“Not surprisingly a stream of criticism was posted on social media.

“We have no idea why we have been the victim of such an attack unless it is someone’s idea of twisted fun.

“The club would like to apologise to all who have been inconvenienced by the situation which has been totally out of our control.

“Normally we register 4,000 runners in around three hours without problems.”

During the days, social media pages were inundated with complaints from people unable to bag a place despite spending hours trying.

Others slammed the new registration time as being “unacceptable” for working people or parents on a school run.