Categories: SecurityWorkspace

Anonymous Claims Attack Which Shut Millions Of GoDaddy Sites

Web hoster GoDaddy went offline for five hours yesterday, taking millions of small business and consumer websites out of commission. A hacker affiliated wo the Anonymous group has claimed responsibility.

For more than four hours, from 6.25 British Summer Time (BST) to about 10.45 BST, GoDaddy-hosted sites were not available, and other services were disrupted. GoDaddy has not specified the cause of the problem, but a Twitter user @AnonymousOwn3r claimed to have caused the problem – apparently in continuation of a protest over GoDaddy’s initial support for the US Government’s proposed SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) last year.

GoDaddy gone baddy?

At 6.41pm West Coast time, the GoDaddy support page added a single word “resolved” to the alert which had been there all day, which said:  “We are aware of an issue affecting several services, including email, our website and some customer websites. We understand your frustration. We want you to know that our team is investigating the source of the issue and is working to resolve it as quickly as possible.”

The company’s Twitter feed did not add any detail of the cause, or any compensation foer customers.

Meanwhile, @AnonymousOwn3r, who occasionally tweeted in Portuguese, and is believed to be located in Brazil, claimed responsibility, saying he was working without the Anonymous collective.

Some twitter accounts connected with Anonymous were sceptical, suggesting that AnonymousOwn3r might have been an opportunist, and the outage a technical fault, but @AnonCentral expressed support, tweeting “By using / supporting Godaddy, you are supporting censorship of the Internet”.

This was a reference to GoDaddy’s initial support for the US government’s proposed act, SOPA, which would have imposed restrictions on internet activites in the interest of limiting piracy. That campaign ended, when 72,000 customers left GoDaddy, and the company responded by abandoning its support for SOPA.

GoDaddy custoemrs were not impressed, with @Habib_Battah tweeting “You’ve just censored the internet yourself. Why target bloggers providing non-corporate, independent news and reporting?”

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Peter Judge

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

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