Our favorite websites went up in smoke this morning as a massive cyber attack rocked the East Coast. The major sites that went down included Twitter, Netflix (check out what’s coming in November here), Amazon, Spotify, PayPal and Reddit. Those were the main ones, but a lot of other sites went down too: Pinterest, Airbnb, CNN, Etsy, New York Times and Tumblr too. Oh man.
This disaster appears to be caused by an outage of DNS provider Dyn, which was under a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack. Basically, DDoS means that the hackers were flooding the websites with so much traffic that regular users like us were unable to access the sites. And DNS (domain name servers) acts like a phonebook for websites. They handle requests to specific sites and make sure that you get where you want to go. During a DDoS attack, your browser can’t figure out where to go because the sites are being overloaded, sometimes with traffic in the hundreds of thousands. It’s like trying to drive your car through super dense fog.
It’s really scary that some of the biggest sites — half the internet, really — can go down in the blink of an eye. We take these internet giants for granted, thinking they’re impenetrable, but they really aren’t.
The sites in question went back up for about three hours, but currently are back down again. Netflix looks like it was trying super hard, but is still not even remotely functional.
Now that you know the deets, here are the tweets.
In case you can’t read it (because of the attack, duh), one Twitter user wrote: “DDoS attack this morning takes out Reddit, Twitter & Spotify. Work productivity increases by 300%”
One Twitter user is cleverly pointing fingers with puns: “People are already Russian to conclusions about the DDoS attack, and Putin the blame on other countries.”
News outlet RT tweeted a GIF of Troy Barnes from Community walking in with an armload of pizza boxes only to find the room burning down.
Comedy Central tweeted: “We have a hunch who’s behind the DDoS attack.” with a GIF of Kyle’s dad Gerald typing on the computer like he’s conducting a symphony.
We would add more tweets, but Twitter is down, so you know. We’re SOL on this one. We’re glad that some people can see the humor in the situation, but we reeeeeaaaallllly wish the sites were back up.