Remember when GoDaddy went out for several hours much to the chagrin (and at times despair) of businesses, bloggers, and companies who depend on the server a few years ago? It was one of the biggest outages of the time, and it seems like we (as hosting clients) haven’t learned much since. Millions of sites were swept away with it. Revenues were obviously lost. The “hacktivist” group Anonymous quickly took credit via Twitter, but a lot of questions are still unanswered to this day.
GoDaddy insists that the outage was simply due to “corrupted router data cables.” However, one hacker publicly posted what is evidently GoDaddy’s database. The real victims here are of course the businesses that lost money and had their “security” shaken. Whether it’s a company selling boutique clothing, a gossip blog or a vlog all about cats, we all realized we’re not as safe as we imagined.
Who’s the Real Culprit?
The conspiracy theories abound, but there are no “official” fingers being pointed. GoDaddy is adamant that no hacking took place and repeated this in a public apology. The apology, while appreciated, was a little on the defensive side stating stats such as the nearly 100% uptime history. It’s too soon to tell if this outage will impact GoDaddy’s long term reputation.
The interesting thing to note is that although the Anonymous group was quick to tweet, there is no real mention of the alleged hack on their web site. The tweets also came after GoDaddy’s announcement that there were technical issues. Is this merely a case of a few wannabe hackers jumping on coattails? GoDaddy would never want to admit to any vulnerability, so it’s anyone’s guess.
The Validity of the Leaked Database and Source Code
There’s also no official answer to whether the leaked database and source code is real. At first glance, many techies say it looks legitimate enough. However, that is nowhere near good enough for GoDaddy (or anyone) to admit defeat. Of course, if it’s not legit, then the user who leaked it, AnonymousOwn3r, will face quite an embarrassment.
Will We Ever Really Know?
Unfortunately, the answer may be, “No.” Ira Victor, a security pro with Data Clone Labs, says that it might be any number of things. Maybe it was a hack, maybe it was an internal error like GoDaddy claims, or maybe it was something else entirely. The only absolute is that GoDaddy has a big reputation to protect and hackers are circling like vultures.
AnonymousOwn3r doesn’t lend much credibility with the statement, “I’m taking godaddy down bacause well i’d like to test how the cyber security is safe and for more reasons that i can not talk now.” So, what’s the real cause of the outage? We will likely never know. The silver lining is that it pushed some businesses to look for other avenues for web hosting and it’s certainly been a wakeup call to the potential lack of security and vital information. Whether you’ve been thinking about VPS hosting from a boutique agency or simply want more support from your host, consider what some of the “big guys” have dealt with in the past—and start comparison shopping now.