GoDaddy Hacking Case Has Local Impacts

Several websites for town agencies, organizations, and businesses fell victim to yesterday’s attack on GoDaddy.com by someone associated with the “hacktivist” group Anonymous.

Around 10:30 AM yesterday websites connected to GoDaddy, which hosts sites and sells domain names, were crippled by a hacker.

Among the websites impacted by the outage: Town of Falmouth, the Falmouth Police Department, the Falmouth Public Library, the Falmouth Prevention Partnership, the Falmouth Education Foundation, Kinlin Grover Real Estate, Min’s Kitchen, and Falmouth Animal Hospital. As of this morning, all of these sites were back up.

During the outage, which lasted until around 8 PM, sites that were either hosted on GoDaddy, purchased domain names through the service, or used its webmail service were completely unavailable to users or visitors. An estimated 5 million sites were affected.

The hacker, self-identified as AnonymousOwn3r, did not disclose his motive beyond stating he was testing GoDaddy systems’ security “and for more reasons that i can not talk now” by launching a “distributed denial of service” attack, in which the servers are flooded with fraudulent traffic until they crash.

“The attack is not coming from [the] Anonymous [collective], the attack it’s coming only from me,” the hacker posted via Twitter.

“We’re aware of the trouble people are having with our site. We’re working on it,” GoDaddy announced via its Twitter account.

A spokesman for GoDaddy said in a statement to the media that sensitive information such as passwords and credit card data was not compromised as a result of the attack.

Anonymous, a group of online activists known for attacking websites to make political statements, criticized GoDaddy earlier this year for its support of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA).

Both those federal bills were pitched as ways to crack down on Internet piracy, but opponents said the language was so vague it would have given the government far-reaching power to black out websites for small or even for perceived violations. GoDaddy eventually withdrew its support of the legislation.

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