Some of the biggest names on the internet – including Twitter, GitHub, Etsy, Shopify, the New York Times and the Boston Globe, among many others – were temporarily knocked offline by a DDoS attack that targeted DNS provider Dyn early Friday morning.
DNS is the mechanism by which computers turn human-readable web addresses like www.networkworld.com into a numerical format that can be used to retrieve the actual web page. Dyn is a managed DNS provider – essentially, a phone book that computers use to correlate IP addresses to web page names.
Overloading the company’s services with a denial-of-service attack means that a lot of queries simply fail to resolve, so users get 404s and other errors instead of Twitter or Shopify. Dyn has posted a statement saying that the majority of the ill effects were felt in the Eastern U.S., and that the main impact is to its managed DNS customers in the area.
Network World’s own website was temporarily offline earlier this morning. There’s no word as yet about the perpetrators or motive for the DDoS attack.
Commenters on Reddit and HackerNews report being able to access some of the affected sites from the UK and Ireland, whether via VPN or otherwise. Other users on the western side of the Atlantic in Brazil reported outages similar to those on the U.S. east coast.
Dyn said that its services were restored and running normally as of 9:35 a.m. EST.