hackers take down numerous US sites
News, Politics

Hundreds Of Major Internet Sites Mysteriously Down

On Tuesday morning, several of the United States’ biggest sites were down. The fact that they were all down at the same time, had some security experts talking about a massive, concerted series of DDoS attacks.

Among the sites that were either completely down, or having problems loading were Amazon, YouTube, Twitch, The New York Times, Spotify, Reddit and CNN.com. Other major news organizations were reported as having been down at some point on Tuesday morning at the very least.

The attacks were not centered on United States-based websites either. The Daily Mail reported that hundreds of sites across the globe were taken down by similar DDoS attacks that started late Monday night and ran through Tuesday morning.

Millions of users across the globe have reported problems trying to access web pages, with Netflix, Pinterest, and UK chemist Boots also affected by the outage. At one time, the attacks’ victims included the UK government.

While some believe the DDoS attacks were aimed at the sites themselves, others believe the issue is with a website known as Fastly. Fastly is a service that works as a content delivery network (CDN) company that helps users view digital content more quickly. Fastly’s technology requires it to sit between its clients and their users, meaning that if the service suffers a failure, it can prevent those companies from operating on the net at all.

Fastly posted a message early Tuesday morning. “We’re currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services,” it wrote.

DDoS Attacks Blamed For Some Damage

While Fastly isn’t blaming DDoS attacks just yet, some on the Internet believe the outage isn’t a coincidence. The failure of the internet has authorities looking to see if Fastly was the only problem. This cause of so many of the world’s major sites to go down almost at once is a high priority.

Google Trends data shows that search queries for Error 503 spiked sharply at around 6 a.m. EDT. That was about the time that users started expressing concern and outrage over websites failing. The errors do not appear to be localized. Reports have come from Australia, North America, the U.K. and Europe, and China over the past hour. Error 503 indicates that a service is temporarily unable to handle a request. Perhaps because the server is overloaded or down for maintenance.

Internet experts have pointed out that Error 503 is usually the error code that comes along with DDoS attacks. However, the actual cause, and whether it’s a failure, or an attack hasn’t been sorted out yet.

Solution Not Obvious

The sites that have had problems appear to have been identified. However, how to get them all back online is still a mystery. Indeed, for now the failure or DDoS attacks have crippled large swaths of the internet.

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