The outage at GoDaddy that took millions of Websites offline was caused by network issues within the Website hosting giant's internal infrastructure and not a cyber-attack, according to the company's top executive.
In a note on the site Sept. 11, GoDaddy Interim CEO Scott Wagner said the causes of the six-hour outage the day before have been resolved and that "at no time was any customer data at risk or were any of our systems compromised."
"The service outage was not caused by external influences," Wagner said in his note to customers. "It was not a 'hack' and it was not a denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. We have determined the service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables. Once the issues were identified, we took corrective actions to restore services for our customers and GoDaddy.com. We have implemented measures to prevent this from occurring again."
Problems started at GoDaddy-an Internet domain name registrar and major Website hosting company-just after 1 p.m. ET Sept. 10, according to the CEO. A company spokesperson said that day that the service outages were intermittent, with service beginning to be restored just before 6 p.m. ET. Service was fully restored by 7 p.m. ET.
The GoDaddy outage caused millions of Websites hosted by GoDaddy.com to go offline.
Soon after the problems began, an alleged hacker using the handle AnonymousOwn3r began sending out messages on the AnonOpsLegion Twitter account taking credit for hacking into the GoDaddy infrastructure. The alleged hacker at one point tweeted that he targeted GoDaddy because "i'd like to test how the cyber security is safe and for more reasons that i can not [sic] talk now." He also said that the attack was not done by hacktivist collect Anonymous, but that he was solely responsible.
There was speculation that GoDaddy may have been targeted for attacks-as has happened in the past-because of the company's support of the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), one of a number of controversial pieces of legislation in Congress designed to strengthen online security, particularly in light of the rapidly growing numbers of people worldwide connecting to the Internet.
SOPA and other proposed laws have been embraced by the film and music industries and software giants as ways of protecting copyright laws online. However, opponents have feared that such laws would hobble the free and open nature of the Internet and open the door to censorship online. After vocal protests online, Congress in January shelved SOPA and the Protect IP Act, though new proposed laws continue to pop up.
However, GoDaddy's support for SOPA reportedly fueled an effort by hackers and protestors to lower the company's search-engine ranking on Google by launching a "Google bomb" GoDaddy.
However, GoDaddy Interim CEO Wagner said the outage Sept. 10 had nothing to do with SOPA or any other legislation and was not the result of outside attacks.
"Throughout our history, we have provided 99.999% uptime in our DNS [Domain Name System] infrastructure," he said in his statement. "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. We take our business and our customers' businesses very seriously. We apologize to our customers for these events and thank them for their patience."