Over the past week, there have been a series of electronic attacks on major Internet web hosts and domain service providers. These distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have disrupted service for tens of thousands of web sites. Here's a recap of the recent activity:
- March 30-April 1: Cloud computing provider GoGrid is hit by a "large, distributed DDoS attack," which disrupts service to about half of its 1,000 customers. "We’ve been in the hosting business for over 8 years now, and have generally been able to prevent most incidents from impacting customers as heavily as this attack did," GoGrid said on its blog.
- March 31: A DDoS attack knocks UltraDNS offline for several hours. UltraDNS, which is owned by NeuStar, runs high-availability DNS services for online retailers and companies including Oracle and Juniper. Successful attacks on DNS providers are not unprecedented, but these services are designed to be more resilient than standard provider DNS servers.
- April 2-5: Domain registrar Register.com is hit with a DDoS that causes several days of disruptions for its customers. Register.com is the eighth-largest registrar, managing 2.7 million domains.
- April 6-7: Customers of The Planet are hit by web site outages as a result of a DDoS aimed at the huge hosting company. "We will be updating DNS to mitigate attack risks further, but the attack volume was massive," The Planet said on its Twitter stream. "Given the volume of the attack, our network operations team rerouted all name server traffic through our DDoS mitigation capabilities." The Planet hosts more than 48,000 servers.
Coincidence? Conficker? Obviously, there's no way to know. But a worrisome common thread is that these were all large-scale attacks that disrupted providers who've seen plenty of DDoS attacks before.