OpenX ad server users are in panic mode today after a major malware attack shut the service down completely over the weekend.

The company shut down activity on its OnRamp product in a hurry and has announced that OnRamp is out of service for good.

In a posting on the OpenX Forum, company officials described the attack as a the culmination of months of malicious hacking activities aimed at the site. The posting went on to describe the company’s, extremely tough, decision to shut down:

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.

Earlier this year, the company was criticized for potential security risks in a scathing article that appeared on The article specifically took OpenX to task for, “…some poorly thought out and executed measures to attempt to monetize their open source version of the software which has introduced some major security flaws.”

Sadly, that’s exactly what happened.

OpenX users are now scrambling to reconstruct their campaigns, and other data, and transfer it to other ad serving platforms.

The only winners in this sad story appear to be other ad servers. According to a report on, Adzerk is reporting a flood of new users as OpenX refugees look for alternative advertising options. In the article, Adzerk CEO James Avery said that his company had seen sign up rates nearly triple since OpenX went down.

So far, it seems as though the hackers’ main motivation behind attacking OpenX was the easy access afforded by its open source code.

Have you been impacted by the OpenX shutdown? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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