The distributed denial-of-service attack that crashed Ellie Mae's loan origination system was cleverly disguised and could have been carried out by individuals with mortgage industry expertise, the vendor says.

The March 31-April 1 attack overwhelmed the company's servers with data requests that had the look and feel of legitimate communications. Specifically, the attack flooded the servers with requests to a URL that is used to download an XML file containing a list of third-party technology vendors that integrate with the Encompass LOS via the Ellie Mae Network.

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