HotSchedules Offline with DDoS Attack

HotSchedules Restaurant Management Tool Offline from DDoS Attack

Many enterprise, medium and smaller restaurant owners rely on software HotSchedules, an online service that manages employee schedules online, allowing staffers to check shifts, trade with other employees and alter their schedules throughout the service. But as of Monday, HotSchedules management service was offline due to a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack targeting the tool.

HotSchedules notified clients Monday that their schedule management tool, only available through their online portal, was suffering a DDoS attack causing employee’s to miss work hours and not be able to check their schedules.

HotSchedules first notified clients on Facebook and Twitter stating the company was suffering from technical issues since late Sunday and issues persisted til Monday. The company notified customers with the following message:

“Hi Everyone – As we get updates, we will continue to post them here and on our other channels. As you might have seen earlier, we experienced a DDoS attack. We are still working with our data center and other outside resources to mitigate the issue. Right now, our Customer Care team is sending rosters to any operator that has called in or emailed. Due to the volume, there is about a 30-40 minute delay from the time of the request. We are also sending rosters to all stores regardless if they have requested it. This should be completed within the next two hours. Once again, we appreciate your patience while we work to resolve this issue.”

Following the extended downtime, HotSchedules offered customers a copy of their schedule if emailed for the information. Regardless, jokes upon social media appeared throughout the day from employee’s skipping work like a snow day, while HotSchedules was dealing with the cyberattack.

HotSchedules smoothly dealt with complaints, favoring a number of the tweets joking about the service being offline. The company continued by responding to complaints and giving several hourly service updates.

HotSchedules is a restaurant management software that automatically builds restaurant employee work schedules, allowing employee’s to alter their schedule throughout the online service automatically. The software simplifies having to manage schedules and work around employee hours by allowing a computer to handle employee sick days and reschedules.

HotSchedules is a massive service, and their homepage boasts they serve McDonald’s, Chili’s and Buffalo Wild Wings as clients using their auto scheduling service. Extended downtime could be a huge issue for larger companies, but employee’s still had the option to call into their workplace and check the schedule.

At around 9 p.m. PST, HotSchedules notified customers the service was continuing to suffer minor outages but was back online. The company stated their engineers are putting security protocols in place to hinder further DDoS attacks from taking their scheduling service offline again.

“Our engineers are in the process of implementing a number of system changes to neutralize this current and future possible attacks. They are complex and will take time for us to implement and test. We are targeting to have normal HotSchedules service restored ASAP, likely by tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, our Customer Care team continues to work around the clock to answer calls and send roster updates to your teams via phone & e-mail. We will proactively e-mail tomorrow’s roster to each location.

We genuinely apologize for any inconvenience caused and appreciate your ongoing patience during this service interruption. We will continue to send updates as they happen but please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions in the meantime.”

In an exclusive email reviewed by FreedomHacker, HotSchedules has begun to email corporate customers about the extended downtime, noting the service was apart of cyberattack late Sunday, hindering the service from working. The company began notifying customers late Monday, offering support via email and through the phone

HotSchedules assured users that no data was compromised in the cyber attack, the service only experienced several hours of downtime. HotSchedules hopes the service will be up and running with new security protocols implemented by early Tuesday.


[Photo via Serge Melki/Wikimedia [CC BY 2.0]]

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