GoDaddy: Outage Caused By Network Failure, Not Anonymous Hack


Web hosting and email services company GoDaddy said Tuesday the outage that disrupted its operations for several hours Monday was caused by a networking issue and not by an attack from Anonymous, as the hacker group claimed.

GoDaddy experienced intermittent service interruptions from 10 a.m. PST to 4 p.m. PST Monday, affecting an undetermined number of its 10.5 million customers.

Scott Wagner, CEO of GoDaddy, issued a statement Tuesday, denying the outage was caused by an outside attack and apologizing for the event.

[Related: Apologies Issued For Microsoft Windows Azure, Google Talk Outages]

"The service outage was not caused by external influences," Wagner said in a statement posted on GoDaddy's website. "It was not a 'hack' and it was not a denial of service attack (DDoS). We have determined the service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables."

Wagner said customer data was not at risk. "We have let our customers down and we know it," he said.

Several Twitter sites associated with the Anonymous group continued to assert Tuesday that they were responsible for the attack.

"I think i will have to bring down http://www.godaddy.com again, so this way they would admit instead of hiding the attack," wrote Anonymous Own3, one of the writers associated with the group.

It is conceivable that a distributed denial of service attack, which overwhelms servers with external communications requests, could have been at the root of the attack, said Peter Bybee president and CEO of Network Vigilance, an IT security consulting and solution provider based in San Diego, Calif.

"It may be they really didn’t understand the origins of the attack," he said. "Unless you have a significant level of understanding what they look like, you may just look at the problem and say, 'We really can't tell,' or 'Our system was overwhelmed.'"

However, security companies reported no DDOS attacks Tuesday, and Andrew Allemann, editor of Domain Name Wire, discounted the possibility of a hack attack in a blog Tuesday.

"So basically some guy with a Twitter account says he’s part of Anonymous and that he was responsible for the outage, and big publications took him at his word," Allemann wrote. "Sigh."

Whatever the cause of the outage, many GoDaddy customers were left with no service for several hours Monday.

Sabrina Carrozza, owner of New York, N.Y.-based Sabrina LCP Communications, a consultant and public relations specialist in the technology industry who uses GoDaddy to operate her email service and website, said she could not communicate with customers during the outage.

"My whole business is based on email, and I couldn't get in touch with customers and they couldn't get in touch with me," she said. "There wasn't any communication from GoDaddy. I still haven't received anything from GoDaddy."

PUBLISHED SEPT. 11, 2012