The BBC’s websites were unavailable for part of Thursday morning — and BBC journalists say it was due to an attack by hackers.
The British broadcasting company was apparently subjected to a DDoS (“Dedicated Denial of Service”) attack. This involves flooding a website or server with malicious traffic, crashing it under the load.
With access to the right tools, it’s a fairly simple attack to carry out, and requires little technical expertise. DDoS “stresser” tools are even available online that anyone can use for a fee.
The BBC is reporting that the downtime was the result of the “large web attack” — although it bizarrely also says the “BBC has yet to confirm or deny that such an attack was responsible for the problems.”
On Twitter, BBC technology journalist Rory Cellan-Jones has also blamed a DDoS attack, citing unnamed “sources.”
Sources – BBC suffered a DdOS – a distributed denial of service attack. But services are now being restored
— Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) December 31, 2015
The BBC had previously blamed the outage on a “technical issue.”
We’re aware of a technical issue affecting the BBC website and are working to fix this now. We’ll update you as soon as we can.
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) December 31, 2015
It’s not yet clear who the culprit is.