GoDaddy officials are looking for the cause of an outage that brought down the Internet domain name registrar and Website hosting giant for four hours Monday, taking millions of sites offline.
It is not clear whether the outage was due to an attack. However, someone going by the Twitter name "AnonymousOwn3r" took credit for taking GoDaddy down. The issues were first observed around 1:25 p.m. ET, and the company worked to restore services over the next several hours.
According to GoDaddy.com spokesperson Elizabeth Driscoll, the outages were intermittent, and services began to be restored to the bulk of the affected customers at 5:43 p.m. ET.
"At no time was any sensitive customer information, such as credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, compromised," she told eWEEK. "We will provide an additional update within the next 24 hours. We want to thank our customers for their patience and support."
The company also apologized for the outage via Twitter as the day wore on.
"So many messages, can't get to you all. ... Sorry to hear all your frustration," GoDaddy tweeted Monday afternoon. "We're working feverishly to resolve as soon as possible."
The cause of the outage is still a source of some speculation. Not long after the problems were discovered, the AnonOpsLegion Twitter account proclaimed the attack to be the work of AnonymousOwn3r. The latter tweeted that GoDaddy was targeted because "i'd like to test how the cyber security is safe and for more reasons that i can not [sic] talk now."
The hacker also stated that that the attack was not the work of the Anonymous collective; he instead took sole responsibility.
In the past, GoDaddy has been targeted in retaliation for its support of the controversial Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), which was praised by many in the film and music industry and assailed by others concerned about the potential for the law to be used for censorship on the Web. For example, in December 2011, a Google bomb was reportedly started against GoDaddy in an attempt to lower its search-engine ranking.
GoDaddy hosts millions of Websites. Discussing the prospect of a hack in an interview with the Associated Press, Kenneth Borg, who works in a Long Beach, Calif., screen-printing business, said that hacktivists may not have understood the impact they would be having on small business owners who rely on GoDaddy for service.
"I'm definitely one for upsetting the establishment in some cases, and I understand that if he's going after GoDaddy, he may have had many reasons for doing that," Borg told the AP. "But I don't think he realized that he was affecting so many small businesses, and not just a major company."