GoDaddy sites go offline; Anonymous member claims responsibility

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Marie Saavedra

Posted on September 10, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 10 at 5:26 PM

PHOENIX -- GoDaddy confirmed via tweet that it is working to clear up an issue that took many of its sites offline Monday.

AnonymousOwn3r, a Twitter account purporting to be a "[s]ecurity leader of #Anonymous," featured several Tweets claiming sole responsibility for the attack.

A tweet to TechCrunch read "please edit it ... the attack is not coming from Anonymous coletive [sic] , the attack it's coming only from me." There were several similar posts in the @AnonymousOwn3r stream.

The first tweet from @AnonymousOwn3r regarding the outage appeared at 10:46 a.m. a.m. It announced that GoDaddy's servers were "tangodown," which is slang for a successful DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack. This kind of an attack is designed to make network machine or resources unavailable to their intended users.

Less than 30 minutes later, the below tweet was posted.

While @AnonymousOwn3r claimed credit for the outage, he or she did not provide a concrete reason for it.

"I'm taking godaddy down bacause [sic] well i'd like to test how the cyber security is safe and for more reasons that i can not talk now," tweeted in response to a query from an editor for popular tech blog Mashable.

The owner of another Twitter account allegedly associated with Anonymous claims @AnonymousOwn3r is just taking advantage of an outage it had nothing to do with it, according to The Associated Press.

“We are experiencing intermittent outages, and this is impacting our site and some of our customers sites," said GoDaddy spokeswoman Elizabeth Driscoll in an e-mail to 3TV. "We are providing customers updates on GoDaddy twitter, so far we don’t have number of sites effected [sic].”

With its corporate headquarters in Scottsdale, GoDaddy hosts millions of websites, many of which are for small businesses.

"We're working feverishly to resolve as soon as possible," was tweeted from the GoDaddy account at 12:06 p.m., nearly 90 minutes after @AnonymousOwn3's first tweet.

Via Twitter, however, techs let GoDaddy customers know that they were making progress. The below tweet went up at 1:04 p.m.

The company said services began to be restored for the bulk of affected customers at 2:43 p.m. PT.

In a statement released at about 5 p.m. Monday, a representative said, "At no time was any sensitive customer information, such as credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, compromised."

Anonymous is a "hacktivist" group that has claimed responsibility for a variety of Internet hacks and attacks, including a series involving law-enforcement websites in Arizona last summer.

In late June 2011, the Department of Public Safety confirmed personal information about several officers was made public by hackers just days after LulzSec, a short-lived group that has since disbanded, hacked into DPS computer systems and released emails, passwords and other potentially sensitive information in a similar manner.

If you'd like to check the status of a website site, including GoDaddy.com, a Web-based tool called Down For Everyone Or Just Me can help.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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