Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday Email/Website Outage

On Monday, September 10, 2012, businesses and organizations around the world had their websites taken offline and email temporarily inaccessible. This was allegedly caused by a "distributed denial of service" (DDOS) attack on the organization that more than 5 million websites are registered with. It simple terms, the most popular website registrar, GoDaddy.com, was hacked and the Domain Name System (DNS) was taken down.

While the alleged hacker is claiming curiosity and personal reasons he "can not talk (about) now" as the reasons for the attack, realistically this could have happened to any target of an attack for a great number of reasons. In fact, the "hacktivist" group Anonymous has taken down eight Tunisian government websites, Egyptian government websites, and even the Department of Justice and FBI websites. Like crime in the real world, these things happen and can happen at random.

Luckily for 5 million website registrar users, GoDaddy.com had an action plan in place and quickly acted upon it. Within a few hours websites and emails were starting to run again. They are now busy building up their defenses to make their service even stronger. They promise that no customer data has been compromised.

"It is both a sad and a happy fact of engineering history that disasters have been powerful instruments of change. Designers learn from failure. Industrial society did not invent grand works of engineering, and it was not the first to know design failure. What it did do was develop powerful techniques for learning from the experience of past disasters. It is extremely rare today for an apartment house in North America, Europe, or Japan to fall down. Ancient Rome had large apartment buildings too, but while its public baths, bridges and aqueducts have lasted for two thousand years, its big residential blocks collapsed with appalling regularity. Not one is left in modern Rome, even as ruin."
In Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences (1997), 23.

A Note to our customers:

If any Smartwebpros.com Inc. customers are still have trouble with email and/or websites, please do not hesitate to call our head office (519 660 7460). This could be due to an unrelated problem that we would be happy to look into. For those who were affected by the outage at GoDaddy.com, thank you for your patience and understanding while the issue was being worked out. We appreciate your continued loyalty.


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