One member of Anonymous is taking responsibility for knocking major web host and domain registrar GoDaddy offline on Monday, causing a wave of associated sites to go down for the count as well.
GoDaddy, which hosts more than 5 million sites, was believed to be attacked for publicly supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) earlier this year. "By using/supporting GoDaddy, you are supporting censorship of the Internet," wrote AnonOpsLegion via Twitter on Monday.
In addition to websites going offline, GoDaddy customers also began complaining that hosted e-mail accounts were inaccessible along with the company's phone service. GoDaddy is reportedly working on resolving the issue, but insiders claim the company is offloading DNS services over to competitor Verisign so that customers don't remain offline.
So far Verisign has not issued a statement, but GoDaddy eventually confirmed the outage without acknowledging a possible Anonymous-based DDoS attack.
"At around 10:25 am PT, GoDaddy.com (opens in new tab) and associated customer services experienced intermittent outages," the company stated. "Services began to be restored for the bulk of affected customers at 2:43 pm PT. At no time was any sensitive customer information, such as credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, compromised."
Over on Twitter, Anonymous Own3r – the individual claiming to be responsible for the attack -- said that GoDaddy was knocked offline because "I'd like to test how the cyber security is safe for more reasons than I can not talk now." The Anonymous member also announced that he/she was working solo, and that the attack was not directed by the actual Anonymous collective. Still, the DDoS efforts didn't go unnoticed, with a "good job brother, glad to see you back" message dispatched from the AnonOpsLegion Twitter account.
As of 8pm EST, the sites associated with GoDaddy were coming back online. The company had not yet confirmed how many of its sites were affected by the outage, nor did it confirm the source of Monday's problem. Meanwhile, one high-profile website has decided to pack its bags and head to a competing web host thanks to Monday's outage.
"This was a poorly thought out decision, made by me, at the very beginning of the company," said Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Asana, when asked why he signed on with GoDaddy. "It is unfortunately somewhat high friction to change, but we’ve already had it on our task list to migrate. This morning’s outage (following one of our own—nobody’s perfect!) will certainly hasten that departure."
Given that this is an ongoing report, we expect to hear more for GoDaddy soon, so stay tuned.