GoDaddy declares outage was not caused by hack

GoDaddy's internal investigation into the outage suffered by its website and those of 52 million of its customers yesterday found that it was not the result of an external hacker, negating claims by a supposed Anonymous affiliate who took responsibility shortly after the sites went offline.

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GoDaddy's public relations department issued an email statement Tuesday clarifying that yesterday's outage, which lasted from 1 to 7 p.m. EDT, "was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables.

"The service outage was not caused by external influences. It was not a 'hack' and it was not a denial of service attack (DDoS)," the email reads.

GoDaddy also made clear that, while many customers' websites were not accessible during the outage, none of their personal data were at risk.

The announcement follows a confusing set of events following the outage. Shortly after GoDaddy went offline, a supposed hacker using the Twitter account @AnonymousOwn3r claimed responsibility for knocking GoDaddy's Domain Name Servers (DNS) offline. The hacker, the self-proclaimed "security leader for Anonymous," said the attack was launched to test GoDaddy's cybersecurity, and "for more reasons that I cannot talk [about] now." GoDaddy's previous support for the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was also considered a motivation for the attack.

However, more centrally controlled Anonymous Twitter accounts quickly dissociated themselves with @AnonymousOwn3r. Speaking for the collective itself, the @GroupAnon Twitter account declared repeatedly that it was not responsible, and mocked the Twitter user's claims as the group's "security leader."

"Anonymous is like a flock of birds, there is no one leader," the Anonymous Twitter account declared. "And like flocks of birds merge and divide, so does Anonymous."

Similarly, the @AnonyOps Twitter account questioned yesterday whether the person behind the @AnonymousOwn3r Twitter account was simply trying to capitalize on an internal GoDaddy issue.

Colin Neagle covers emerging technologies, privacy and enterprise mobility for Network World. Follow him on Twitter @ntwrkwrldneagle and keep up with the Microsoft, Cisco and Open Source community blogs. Colin's email address is cneagle@nww.com.

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