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Flightradar24 experiences Cyber-Attacks

One of the most popular real-time flight-tracking websites – Flightradar24 – has experienced three cyber-attacks over the last two days, with the most recent attack taking down the website for more than four hours.  IT techs struggled to restore the site and early attempts failed due to “significant instability” during the sustained attacks.

Officials did not say specifically the type of attack it faced, but did say it impacted “the availability of our services” but not user data.

The website, while experiencing intermittent loading errors, appeared to be improving today.

The website enables users to track planes - both commercial passenger flights and private ones - in mid-air, following flight paths live.  More than 2 million users are able to track 180,000 flights each day.

Flightradar24 can identify a plane's model, flight number, and distress signal codes, among an array of other advanced features, some of which are unlocked through a subscription payment.

Such tools make the website, and its competitors, a valuable tool for plane-watchers and for journalists covering accidents and other airline incidents.