Over the weekend, hackers hit up the new social network Ello, which went down for 45 minutes after they launched a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Upon visiting the site, those who tried to get onto the social network on Sunday, they received this message: “The site is currently unavailable while we conduct some necessary maintenance. Follow along for any updates on our status page.”

Ello Captures Hackers' Attention

Ello gets the site back up fast

The Next Web reports that Ello’s status page showed a different message, however. It stated: “We are undergoing a potential denial of service attack.”

The company said it started investigating the cyber-attack at around 4:15 p.m. Eastern. The Next Web speculates that the first error message is simply the default one Ello puts up whenever there is a problem.

TechCrunch reports that the invite-only social network fixed the problem by blocking the IP addresses the attacks were coming from. The website said they sometimes got a frown-face icon when they tried to get onto the network a few times on Sunday.

A first for Ello

The social network did continue to see some problems after it performed the fix, according to Twitter users. They posted on Twitter that Ello continued to go down and that some posts would not upload to the site.

This was the very first time Ello was taken down by hackers. It’s interesting that the startup has attracted enough attention for hackers to think it’s worth their time to target it. Ello has only been around for about a month.

Any need for Ello?

There’s been plenty of debate about whether people really need a profile on Ello. The fact that an invitation is required to join it creates a significant barrier to entry, although those who are interested can go to the website and request an invitation.

Perhaps the real question here though is whether in the days of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Google+ we really need another social network.

Hackers often hit the same targets

More recently, hackers took down PlayStation’s network. Other favorite targets of hackers include major U.S. banking websites, World of Warcraft (Blizzard.net). Hackers also hit Evernote and Feedly earlier this year.