WorldPay helpless against DDOS attack?

WorldPay's services have been severely disrupted since about 6pm on Saturday, October 2nd, 2004 and it appears that they are powerless to do anything about it.

In their latest email to customers (which I recieved at 10am this morning), they state:

"WorldPay's payment and administration systems are working safely and securely, but the networks around them are being systematically flooded with requests for our service on a huge scale. During such an attack different customers will be affected at different times and to varying degrees. If a first attempt to make a payment does not succeed, please advise your customers to try again. . .

You may be aware that other major companies around the world have been subject to Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks recently. While such attacks can be anticipated to some extent, it does take time to identify and deal with the exact nature of a particular attack which can also change several times, over several days. We continue to combat the attack and mitigate its impact, but cannot at this point predict when our service will be restored to normal."

Although the fact that DDOS incedences are on the increase, I find it hard to believe that it would take four days for them to filter this out unless they were completely unprepared for it.

It would appear that other online payment systems are already trying to take advantage of this issue, with one such provider, MetaCharge, advertising on Google with the line: "Worldpay Problems? Accept credit card payments online. Total solution with DDoS Protection."

I do hope that WorldPay gets its act together and installs the necessary DDOS products to counter such attacks in the future. Maybe they should talk to these people (Prolexic), who claim that they can offer "immediate help, in many cases bringing their sites back on-line in minutes even in the face of the largest DDoS attacks."

This is especially worrisome since we are on the verge of releasing Ariaware Optimizer next week with the payments handled by... you guessed it: WorldPay!

Update: Seems that the major media outlets have picked up the story. The BBC site allows comments.