Hackers attacked a key part of the internet’s infrastructure Friday, causing some major services including Twitter, Zoho, Eventbrite, Constant Contact, Survey Monkey, Weebly, Spotify, Airbnb and others to be inaccessible for many users.
The attack targeted a domain name system (DNS) company called Dyn that helps people connect to websites. One attack began around 7:30 a.m. Eastern time. A second attack began around 11:50 a.m.
Domain name systems translate domain names into IP addresses, and DNS also controls email delivery, enabling the use of a web browser to find web sites as well as send and receive email. The intermittent attacks today are is commonly known as a distributed denial of service, or DDoS attack, which is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. The attack appears to have primarily affected users on the East Coast, but users on the West Coast have also reported problems. Such attacks are becoming more common.