Major GoDaddy Outage: Cause Remains Unclear

Dennis Faas's picture

Web hosting company GoDaddy suffered an outage this week that knocked thousands of small business websites offline. It appears hackers may have been responsible, but at the moment it's unclear exactly who was behind the attack.

GoDaddy is best known for helping users register domain names, also called URLs or website addresses. However, GoDaddy also hosts millions of large and small websites, physically storing the data for the site's pages on GoDaddy's computers.

GoDaddy Sites Down For Hours

GoDaddy's customer websites and email services began suffering "intermittent outages" on Monday, September 10, at 10:25 AM Pacific Time. Full access was not restored to all the sites until 2:43 PM, more than four hours later.

The outage was particularly unfortunate because the resulting problems occurred during regular business hours for most of the continental United States. (Source:

GoDaddy's main website was also periodically out of action during the outage, though for a while it was replaced with a short statement explaining the problems.

The giant web hosting company hasn't revealed how many customer sites or email addresses were affected by the outage.

GoDaddy hosts sites for more than five million customers, many of them businesses that are presumably unhappy with interrupted access to customer orders and promotional programs on the web.

Anonymous 'Hacktivists' to Blame?

GoDaddy hasn't publicly confirmed that hackers were responsible for its downtime. However, the company has previously faced outage threats from "hacktivists" who disrupt sites as part of a political protest.

Supporters of the Anonymous hacktivist movement have previously condemned GoDaddy for supporting legislation concerning online piracy. Representatives of Anonymous said they felt the laws were too harsh and could inadvertently punish innocent people.

Like-minded critics said they feared the legislation GoDaddy supported would make it easier for governments to censor free speech on the Internet.

Two separate Twitter accounts claiming to represent members of Anonymous have addressed the GoDaddy outage. One claimed credit for the attack. The other claimed that Anonymous had nothing to do with it.

At this time, there's no way of telling which claim is accurate. Anonymous has little or no formal structure and many people acting on its behalf do so without the knowledge or backing of other group members. (Source:

Update: GoDaddy Denies Outage Caused by Hack

GoDaddy now denies the outage was related to an attack. In a recent statement the company had this to say:

"The service outage was not caused by external influences. It was not a 'hack' and it was not a denial of service attack (DDoS)...We have determined the service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables.

"Once the issues were identified, we took corrective actions to restore services for our customers and" (Source:

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