Hacker group claims to be responsible for website outages

September 12, 2012

GoDaddy, a domain registrar and web hosting provider for businesses, recently experienced a service outage that many believed was the work of a cybercriminal. Following these reports, however, GoDaddy announced that the outage was not a product of a "hack."

The Associated Press first reported that the website went down for several hours, causing thousands of its 5 million small business customers to blackout as well. A Twitter feed that claimed to be associated with the "Anonymous" hacker group said that the group targeted GoDaddy because of the company's support of censorship. Anonymous claimed to have used distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS), which refers to a hacker's attempts to make a network unavailable to all of its users.

Immediately following the outage, GoDaddy updated its customers via Twitter: "We're still working. Getting closer to normal. Thanks for all your patience and understanding."

According to GoDaddy spokeswoman Elizabeth Driscoll, the outage lasted for about 5 hours, and no customer information, like passwords, personal information and financial data, were compromised.

GoDaddy's interim CEO, Scott Wagner, said that the company was not hacked, but instead was affected by a service outage. GoDaddy is implementing measures to make sure that an event like this does not occur again. 

Although the company stated that a hacker did not cause the blackout, this event should remind companies to install the necessary security software and institute measures to prevent criminals from accessing customer information. Kevin Mitnick, a former computer hacker, told Business Insider that company owners should outsource a security expert to install software and firewalls as a form of data protection, and educate themselves on the techniques a cybercriminal might use to gain control of data.

-McAfee Cloud Security