MTV Oy Stops Professional Attack in its Tracks Using Akamai’s Security Solution

"We’ve already recouped our investment in Kona Site Defender because a successful hack or attack can cost us a lot in a short amount of time. By preventing successful attacks, we gain peace of mind while keeping our customers happy."

Jukka Lindström , Software Developer and Architect , MTV Oy

The Situation

MTV Oy – also known as MTV3 – is the market leader in Finnish commercial television. Founded in 1957, MTY Oy is fully owned by a Swedish family-owned company and media group Bonnier AB, with operations in 16 countries. In addition to broadcast television, MTV Oy distributes broadcastquality content via its Over-the-Top (OTT) network service. The company generated 2015 revenues of 230 million and, in early 2016, MTV Oy´s channels reached an average of 2.8 million Finns daily. In fact, two million unique users visit each week.

The Challenge

In the summer of 2013, MTV Oy’s OTT service suffered a DDoS attack by hackers who took down the company’s video streaming website. While MTV Oy is the target of a few attacks each year, this DDoS attack was launched by professionals who took the site down at will over the course of a week. Because MTV Oy’s site is one of the most popular in Finland, the site’s downtime made news headlines.

Two days after the initial DDoS attack, these hackers posted a message on MTV Oy’s Facebook page demanding the media giant pay a ransom of bitcoins valued at close to 1400 at that time to stop the activity. While the amount is small, security experts strongly advised MTV Oy not to pay or contact the hackers in any way. Since almost all Internet traffic accessing MTV Oy’s site and service originates in Finland, MTV Oy asked its network operator to block all traffic outside of Finland. While this stopped the attack, a small percentage of MTV Oy’s customers could not connect because they were routed through another country.

The Goals

MTV Oy needed to meet two key requirements to support its objectives:

  • Stop the DDoS attack. MTV Oy needed to stop the attack while allowing all legitimate Internet traffic to access its site.
  • Move quickly. With the potential for lost revenues and more negative publicity, the company wanted to quickly put a solution in place.

Why Akamai

Going Live Quickly with a Trusted Partner

As a long-time customer of Akamai solutions looking to ensure speedy site delivery, MTV Oy naturally turned to Akamai. It quickly became evident that Kona Site Defender was the best solution for MTV Oy. Kona Site Defender combines automated Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) mitigation with a highly scalable and accurate Web Application Firewall to protect websites from a wide range of online threats, including network- and applicationlayer DDoS, SQL injection, and XSS attacks.

As Jukka Lindström, software developer and architect for MTV Oy, explains, “We were under pressure to quickly deploy a solution. With Akamai Kona Site Defender, we could implement our approach of properly blocking foreign Internet traffic while allowing legitimate traffic through.”

Getting Back to Business

Within a short time, MTV Oy stopped the DDoS attack and got its service back online. According to Lindström, “We were fortunate that no major event – such as a popular sports competition – was going on at the time of the attack. If our service hadn’t been available to paying customers, we would have been forced to refund their money.”

In addition to blocking the attack, MTV Oy uses the Akamai solution to fend off all types of abnormal activity, from simple to sophisticated attacks. For instance, the company can block attempts to steal its content as well as DDoS attacks.

“It’s a relief to know that if we are under this kind of attack in the future, we have a robust toolset to fight against and mitigate it,” continues Lindström.

Gaining Peace of Mind

With the Akamai solution in place, MTV Oy now has stronger applicationlayer security, which is partially automated and hardened by security experts. This reduces the security workload for the company and minimizes the need to call upon outside resources to augment the lean on-site staff.

“We’ve already recouped our investment in Kona Site Defender because a successful hack or attack can cost us a lot in a short amount of time. By preventing successful attacks, we gain peace of mind while keeping our customers happy,” concludes Lindström.

About MTV Oy

MTV is a Finnish media company with roots deep in the early days of television broadcasting in the 1950s. Since then the small company has grown into a big media company that broadcasts news and provides entertainment and experiences 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit and follow @MTVSuomi on Twitter.

About Akamai

Akamai secures and delivers digital experiences for the world’s largest companies. Akamai’s intelligent edge platform surrounds everything, from the enterprise to the cloud, so customers and their businesses can be fast, smart, and secure. Top brands globally rely on Akamai to help them realize competitive advantage through agile solutions that extend the power of their multi-cloud architectures. Akamai keeps decisions, apps and experiences closer to users than anyone — and attacks and threats far away. Akamai’s portfolio of edge security, web and mobile performance, enterprise access and video delivery solutions is supported by unmatched customer service, analytics and 24/7/365 monitoring. To learn why the world’s top brands trust Akamai, visit,, or @Akamai on Twitter. You can find our global contact information at