Namecheap fends off DDoS attack, restores services

The 100Gbps attack knocked 300 websites offline for about three hours

Namecheap said Thursday it struggled to recover from a new type of distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) against its DNS (domain name system) servers that knocked 300 websites offline.

The company, which sells domain names, SSL certificates, Web hosting and other related services, said it took three hours to contain the attack. On its blog, the company said the attack involved 100Gbps (bits per second) of traffic directed at Namecheap and called it "one of the largest attacks anyone has seen or dealt with." The company said it was a "new type of attack" but did not provide further details.

"Today is one of the days that as a service provider ... you wish you never had," Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall and Vice President Matt Russell wrote on the blog.

Hackers frequently use DDoS attacks to disrupt companies and organizations. Although many websites use services and tools to keep their sites online while under attack, it can often take time before countermeasures are effective.

The attack centered on Namecheap's Free DNS and Default v2 nameservers, which find an IP address for a domain name so a website can be called into a browser.

Domain resolving, domain host record updates and URL and email forwarding were affected. The company posted hour-by-hour updates as it made progress mitigating the attacks and filtering the bad traffic. By Thursday afternoon, Namecheap said 99 percent of its services were running again.

Namecheap's DNS platform, located in five countries, fends off DDoS attacks "on an almost daily basis," Kirkendall and Russell wrote. "Today, however, I am compelled to announced that we struggled."

Efforts to reach Namecheap officials were not immediately successful.

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