U,S, government probes sporadic "massive" attacks that have affected the accessibility of several popular websites.
A third wave of cyberattacks was underway late Friday afternoon affecting several popular websites including Twitter and Reddit that had been down intermittently since the morning in what appears to be major cyber security breaches affecting two domain hosts and spanning two continents.
Internet traffic company Dyn, which manages website domains and routes internet traffic, experienced two distributed denial of service attacks on its DNS servers. A DDoS attack is an attempt to flood a website with so much traffic that normal service is affected.
Amazon, whose web service AWS hosts many popular websites including Netflix, also reported East Coast outages in the morning.
Other affected sites included Etsy, Airbnb, Github, Vox, Spotify and Box.
“Starting at [7:00 a.m. EST] on October 21 . . . we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure,” Dyn said in a statement. In an update posted at 8:45 EST, the Manchester,, N.H.-based company confirmed the attack and said it “mainly impacted U.S. East and is impacting Managed DNS customers in this region. Out engineers are continuing to work on mitigating this issue.”
By 9:20 a.m., Dyn said “the services have been restored to normal.”
But less than three hours later, Dyn said it was monitoring another attack against its DNS server.
Amazon reported at 9:30 a.m. EST that the issues had “been resolved and the service is operating normally.”
Outages initially impacted the East Coast, but by midday people in Europe were reporting outages as well.
At 2:50 p.m. EST, Twitter and Reddit were among the sites that could not be accessed at the United Nations in New York.
But by 2:52 p.m. EST, Dyn posted that the issues had been resolved and that its engineers were continuing to investigate and mitigate the attacks on its infrastructure.
MSNBC reported in the late afternoon, however, that a Dyn spokesperson said a third wave of cyberattacks was underway. The spokesperson tol the network that the attacks are “well planned and executed, coming from tens of millions of IP addresses at the same time.”
No one had claimed responsibility for an attack as of Friday evening.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said earlier that the Department of Homeland Security was “monitoring the situation” but that “at this point I don’t have any information about who may be responsible for this malicious activity.”
A senior U.S. intelligence official told NBC News Friday afternoon that the attacks appeared to be internet vandalism and do not seem to be a state-sponsored or directed attack. The official said it would be impossible to say how long it will take to identify the responsible party.
During the earlier outages, some of the affected companies used Twitter to inform customers.
“Uh oh, we’re having some issues right now and investigating. We’ll keep you updated!” Spotify tweeted.
“A global event is affecting an upstream DNS provider.,” GitHub tweeted. “GitHub services may be intermittently available at this time.”