If you were really excited for Black Mirror on Netflix Friday morning, you may have been slightly disappointed. Netflix, along with several other popular websites including Twitter, Reddit, Amazon, Spotify and Tumblr, were the victim of a series of cyber attacks that blocked users on the East Coast from getting to the sites.
The first wave of attacks began at 7:10 a.m. Friday morning, and the issues appeared to have been resolved around 9:30 a.m., before a second wave began. The cause was a distributed denial of service or DDoS attack against Dyn, an internet performance company. The DDoS attack left users at many popular sites unable to reach any page on the site.
The company confirmed the attack at 8:45 a.m., saying, “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.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest received several questions about the attack, and said that the Department of Homeland Security was “monitoring the situation,” but continued, “At this point I don’t have any information about who may be responsible for this malicious activity.”
Amazon’s web service AWS, which supports many popular domains including Netflix, reported problems on the East Coast at roughly the same time. At 9:36 a.m., the company posted an update saying that these problems had “been resolved and the service is operating normally.” It’s unclear at this time whether Amazon’s hostname issue is related to the DDoS attack.
DDoS attacks involve flooding a site or service with fake traffic with the goal of taking the site offline. The perpetrators of Friday’s attack and their goals are still unclear.