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Day-long outage 'not a hack,' claims GoDaddy

Just a little router trouble, that's all

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Domain registrar GoDaddy has commented on the daylong DNS outage that downed many of its customers' websites on Monday, saying that not only was a hacker not responsible, but that the service interruption wasn't the result of a DDoS attack at all.

"The service outage was not caused by external influences," Scott Wagner, the company's interim CEO, wrote in a canned statement. "At no time was any customer data at risk or were any of our systems compromised."

On Monday, a hacker using the Twitter handle AnonymousOwn3r claimed responsibility for the outage, saying he was attacking GoDaddy's DNS servers "to test how the cyber security is safe and for more reasons i can not talk now [sic]."

Not true, says GoDaddy. Instead, the downtime was caused by "a series of network events that corrupted router tables." The company says that it has since corrected the problems that triggered the outage and has implemented measures to prevent a similar event from happening again.

During the outage, GoDaddy shifted its own DNS servers to competitor VeriSign, Wired reports, so that the GoDaddy.com domain would remain online. But GoDaddy customer websites remained inaccessible for around six hours in all, beginning at around 10.00 Pacific time (17.00 GMT/18.00 BST) and ending around 16.00 Pacific (23.00GMT/24.00BST).

"Throughout our history, we have provided 99.999 per cent uptime in our DNS infrastructure," Wagner wrote. "This is the level our customers expect from us and the level we expect of ourselves. We have let our customers down and we know it."

The hacker collective known as Anonymous was quick to distance itself from AnonymousOwn3r's claims, with several Anonymous-affiliated Twitter feeds denying that the group had anything to do with taking down GoDaddy.

On Tuesday, Twitter feeds were alive with speculation about the incident, with many accusing AnonymousOwn3r of fabricating his story. Others, however, were unsatisfied with GoDaddy's explanation:

AnonymousOwn3r himself maintains that he was solely responsible for the outage, and that GoDaddy is covering up his attack because it doesn't want to reveal how weak its security really is. At this juncture, he is reportedly mulling ways to prove his credibility. ®

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