Travel perk website attacked by bots

Travel perk website attacked by bots

Registration for the second phase of the cash handouts and cash rebates opened on Thursday. (Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Registration for the second phase of the cash handouts and cash rebates opened on Thursday. (Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

A website used for the second phase of registration for the Chim, Shop, Chai (Taste, Shop, Spend) scheme suffered a cyber-attack that slowed the process Friday morning.

The Finance Ministry found bots were signing up at the website at a speed of 1 million times per second, causing a slowdown in the registration process. The system is designed to serve 140,000 registrations per second, said Lavaron Sangsnit, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office.

“Our technical team disabled the bots that were blocking the system. Further inspection is needed as other bots are suspected to have been used,” he said.

The Finance Ministry is launching an investigation to find out the purpose of the cyber-attack.

“We suspect the use of bots was either aimed at discrediting the scheme, which has received overwhelming support from the public, or hired by those who want to block other people from signing up for 10-20 minutes in order to register themselves,” he said.

The attacks resulted in Friday’s morning registration round taking three hours and 34 minutes to reach the 500,000-registrant quota, longer than two registration rounds Thursday, which took just above one hour.

The ministry has instructed the technical team to solve and prevent such problems, he said.

On Tuesday, the cabinet approved the second phase of the Taste, Shop, Spend’s cash handouts and cash rebates, which run until the end of the year, with 3 million people set to benefit from it.

Under the second phase, participants will still enjoy the same 1,000baht cash handout as well a cash rebate of up to 20%.

About 10 million people who registered under the first phase, which kicked off on Sept 23 and offered a 15% rebate, are also entitled to the 20% rebate.

Registration for the second phase is still limited to 1 million people a day, but will be separated into two rounds, one beginning at 6am and one at 6pm for three days.

Mr Lavaron said those who have bad intentions to stop such practices and allow registration to continue.

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