If you tried accessing some of the largest websites on the internet this morning, you probably encountered a setback or two. Reddit, Twitter, Spotify and a glut of other sites were subject to a distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyber attack targeting Dyn, a major Domain Name Server (DNS) host.
Dyn issued an update on the event early this morning, writing:
“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.”
The attack, which Dyn acknowledged in the wee hours of the morning, mainly affected the East Coast:
“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.”
As Gizmodo notes, DNS servers are the traffic controllers of the internet. They exist to navigate your web request to the appropriate page, and if one of them is temporarily offline, you’re asking to access a site that isn't there.