This morning many large, widely used Internet sites, including Twitter, Spotify, GitHub, Etsy, Vox, Paypal, Starbucks, Airbnb, Netflix, and Reddit, just to name a few, were taken down and offline owing to a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) against DNS provider Dyn. Below is a list of all of the sites that we know have been affected – and may still be being affected – by the Dyn DDoS outage. Also, until it’s all fixed, here is a workaround. [UPDATE: It has been confirmed that this was the result of hackers taking advantage of unsecured Internet of Things devices, probably using the Mirai malware. We have written more than two years ago about the inherent security risks of Internet of Things devices, including about the hacking of smart lightbulbs and baby monitors.]
Dyn is a large provider of DNS (Domain Name Service, or the Domain Name System, depending on who you talk to, although the former is correct). See here for an explanation of what DNS is and how it works.
The attack started early in the morning today (October 21, 2016). Dyn almost immediately posted a message saying that “Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21th-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.”
According to CNN, while the impacted area was largely limited to the east coast of the U.S., sites in Europe are starting to experiences issues as well.
Below is a list of sites believed to have been affected; if you are having trouble reaching a site not on this list, please list it in a comment.
List of Sites Known to Date to be Affected by the Dyn DDoS Attack Outages
New York Times
Squarespace (some customer sites)
Wix Customer Sites
Workaround to get to Sites Until Dyn Outage and DDoS is Under Control
Until such time as you can get to the outaged sites using your regular computer and browser, you can probably (not definitely, but probably) get to them from your smartphone.
If you can get to them from your smartphone, you may also be able to tether your computer to your smartphone and use your smartphone as your gateway to the Internet instead of your modem/router.
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NOTE: You will almost certainly need to clear your DNS settings on your computer, so that your computer uses your phone’s DNS settings. (If you do not know what this means, then you should not be playing with those settings.)
As of the time of the initial writing of this article, here is everything Dyn has shared at the DynStatus.com site:
DDoS Attack Against Dyn Managed DNS
Update – Dyn Managed DNS advanced service monitoring is currently experiencing issues. Customers may notice incorrect probe alerts on their advanced DNS services. Our engineers continue to monitor and investigate the issue.
Update – Our engineers continue to investigate and mitigate several attacks aimed against the Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Oct 21, 17:53 UTC
Update – This DDoS attack may also be impacting Dyn Managed DNS advanced services with possible delays in monitoring. Our Engineers are continuing to work on mitigating this issue. Oct 21, 16:48 UTC
Investigating – As of 15:52 UTC, we have begun monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Our Engineers are continuing to work on mitigating this issue. Oct 21, 16:06 UTC
Monitoring – Services have been restored to normal as of 13:20 UTC. Oct 21, 13:36 UTC
Update – This attack is mainly impacting US East and is impacting Managed DNS customers in this region. Our Engineers are continuing to work on mitigating this issue. Oct 21, 12:45 UTC
Investigating – Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21st-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.