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article imageAnonymous hacker claims takedown of millions of GoDaddy websites

By JohnThomas Didymus     Sep 11, 2012 in Internet
GoDaddy, the Internet's largest domain registrar, was hacked on Monday morning. Sites hosted by GoDaddy were down for several hours. By 5:20 ET, some of the websites were back up again, including GoDaddy's main page.
Soon after the site went down, GoDaddy's Twitter account acknowledged the problem and said the company was working to resolve the issue. ABC Action News reports GoDaddy claims it manages 53 million websites worldwide. This suggests that millions of websites worldwide were affected by the outage.
According to Techcrunch, GoDaddy-hosted e-mail accounts, phone services and all sites using GoDaddy's DNS service were also down. Mashable reports: "The more problematic part is that any domain registered with GoDaddy that uses its nameservers and DNS records are also down. That means that even if you host your site elsewhere, using GoDaddy for DNS means it is inaccessible."
According to Techcrunch, GoDaddy released a message that said: “At around 10:25 am PT, and associated customer services experienced intermittent outages. Services began to be restored for the bulk of affected customers at 2:43 pm PT. At no time was any sensitive customer information, such as credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, compromised.”
ABC Action News reports "The company's website appeared to be working as of 3:15 p.m. ET on Monday. Shortly after 4 p.m., the company posted a Twitter messaging saying 'some service has already been restored. Stick with us.'"
According to MSN Now, a 5:20 ET update reported that some of the websites were back up again, including GoDaddy's main page.
Down For Everyone Or Just Me reported that GoDaddy's main page displayed a message that assured customers the company was working on the problem. However, GoDaddy did not confirm whether the outage was due to a "distributed denial of service attack" as the Anonymous member claimed. The company also did not say how many customers were affected.
Techcrunch reports that a high profile site Asana, has announced that it is migrating from GoDaddy.
According to, GoDaddy fixed the problem by migrating to GoDaddy's competitor Verisign, but there has been no independent confirmation of the information.
Some observers speculate that the attack could be connected with GoDaddy's support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
AnonymousOwn3r, the Anonymous member who claimed responsibility for the attack, said it was not a collective action by Anonymous.
Techcrunch reports that the technical cause of the failure was inaccessibility of GoDaddy's DNS servers identified as "CNS1.SECURESERVER.NET, CNS2.SECURESERVER.NET, and CNS3.SECURESERVER.NET," which were "failing to resolve."
AnonymousOwn3r claims he is Brazilian. According to Techcrunch, his bio reads, “Security leader of #Anonymous (~Official member~).”
The Guardian reports @AnonymousOwn3r said he hacked GoDaddy because: "I'd like to test how the cyber security is safe and for more reasons that I can not talk now."
AnonymousOwn3r tweeted:
Anonymous Own3r@AnonymousOwn3r
@film_girl I'm taking godaddy down bacause well i'd like to test how the cyber security is safe and for more reasons that i can not talk now
10 Sep 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
The Guardian reports that a GoDaddy customer service officer said the company was besieged with complaints and that they were working on the problem:
Update: Still working on it, but we're making progress. Some service has already been restored. Stick with us.
10 Sep 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
Update: More progress has been made. We're still investigating and working, though.
10 Sep 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
We're still working. Getting closer to normal. Thanks for all your patience and understanding.
11 Sep 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
GoDaddy is one of the biggest hosting providers on Internet. The Guardian reports some of the websites affected by the outage included "small community groups like Little Rock Mommies, an online group for mothers in Central Arkansas, to Coursera, an online education company, to JHill's Staffing Services, a Los Angeles-based recruitment & career consulting firm."
According to Techcrunch, although AnonymousOwn3r is claiming responsibility, he has not yet offered proof that he was responsible. He has not explained the motive for his action, either.
Anonymous is a group of "hacktivists" that co-ordinate their operations online. According to The Guardian, the group was formed in 2003 and claim they carry out their hacking activities as a form of protest of oppressive governments and corrupt corporations. The group has claimed responsibility for a number of major hackings in 2012, including UK government sites and the CIA.
More about Godaddy, Hackers, Websites, Anonymous


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