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OpenX OnRamp closed indefinitely, blames hackers

Without notice to customers, OpenX OnRamp shut down their free ad services indefinitely, citing hackers as the reason. This will impact small businesses and push use of their paid open marketplace.

openx

Without notice, OpenX halts services

If your web business relies on OpenX OnRamp, OpenX’s free service to serve and deliver in-house or MarketPlace ads, you may be out of luck as of Saturday, February 9th. According to a forum1 post by Staff at 4:46am the server’s system was taken offline due to malicious attacks by hackers, and have gone so far as to directly label it a breach. The forum notice was very careful to make the point that ‘paid services’ were not vulnerable and were safe, and as of this article, Enterprise service is also offline, as it has been since Saturday, making it appear the company is at a virtual standstill, whether paid or unpaid subscription to OpenX.

What makes this so intriguing is that upon login to OnRamp, you’re delivered to an Enterprise login, however the login page simply says “Closed for Maintenance.” There is no notice of when the system went down or even that it is down. It was not until we searched through the website for information leading nowhere until we found in the forum an inconspicuous notice that lays out that the free service (without notice of any kind to consumers) is out indefinitely, meanwhile paid service is in, yet you cannot actually access paid services, leaving one to wonder what exactly is vulnerable and what is not.

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According to the company, “OnRamp has been the subject of escalating hacker activity in recent months, culminating in a serious attack that occurred Saturday, February 9, 2013. We have made the difficult decision to suspend the OnRamp service to protect our customers as we investigate the breach further and assess the ability of the OnRamp service to withstand future threats. At this time, we cannot predict when, or whether, the OnRamp system will be operational again.”

The timing and reasoning could not be more questionable, considering the absolute silence from the company and that in January the company raised $22.5mm bringing the company to $70mm and roughly 260 employees. Additionally, OpenX was just named a Top 10 Company on Forbes’ “America’s Most Promising Companies” List. Regardless of the reason for the dismantling of the free ad service, the fact is that such a move would bolster their paid services.

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Monkey On The Loose

    February 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Thank goodness somebody had time to dig on this. Thanks for that! I was working on my sites Saturday when the hack started and my virus prevention went crazy with alerts for my own sites. Time to find a new ad server service. OpenX should really be ashamed for how they have handled this issue…

  2. bobdebilder

    February 14, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Oh well, I should have moved from them a long long time ago .. now it ends

  3. aj71

    February 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    just the latest in OpenX’s business model of pumping-and-dumping the users of the original open-source. Try Google DFP for Small Business. Far easier to use and better than OpenX ever was or will be…. and it’s free!

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