The Australian ANZ E*Trade share trading website has admitted it suffered serious disruption for over the Christmas period after being hit by a DDoS attack.

The attack appears to have started affecting mostly overseas customers around 19 December, leaving some unable to access the platform for up to two weeks.

From Australian press reports, the attacks appears to have been a fairly crude traffic assault designed to overwhelm key servers, forcing staff at the company to restore access to countries outside Australia one at a time.

''We experienced some malicious activity that impacted the performance of the E*Trade website prior to Christmas,'' a company spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

''We responded immediately to minimise any disruption to our clients and ensure our data remained secure. This meant that clients may have had trouble accessing E*Trade from overseas but we were able to assist customers that made contact to execute trades during this period. At no stage was security of the E*Trade site breached.''

Few companies willingly draw anyone’s attention to DDoS attacks and most are only made public after customers complain or security companies refer to them in general terms.

All that can be inferred from the sketchy details of the Christmas E*Trade attack is that it was directed form outside the country.

In November, Prolexic made public a huge attack on an Asian company which reached a peak rate of 45Gbit/s, while a high-profile attack on the Hong Kong stock exchange in August forced staff to send out stock disclosure data manually.

E*Trade started as an Australian wing of the global E*Trade brand that made its mark in the late 1990s, before ANZ (Australia and New Zealand Bank) acquired it in 2007.