PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP)-- If some of your favorite websites (beside this one) appear to be down today, there a reason why and no, it's not your computer.
It's a DDoS attack on Dyn, a major DNS host and it's affecting websites like Twitter, Pinterest, Starbucks and PayPal.
DDoS stands for "Distributed Denial of Service." It's a cyber attack where someone tries to bring down a machine, resource or websites by flooding them with requests using multiple computers or servers.
Think of it as 10,000 cars all trying to get on the interstate at the same time. The interstate can only handle so much traffic and the overwhelming volume of cars brings things to a grinding halt. It's the same thing with computers.
Dyn is a major DNS (domain network servers) host. DNS hosts are the phone book of the internet. When you want to go to a website, the DNS host routes the request from your computer to that website taking the words you put it (like wjhg.com) and translating that into numbers. When a DNS host goes down, you can't get to websites that DNS host serves. It's like a road being closed.
The DDoS attack started this morning and Dyn says it's aware of the problem. According to Gizmodo, Dyn posted an update on its website saying: "Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21th-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. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.”
Starbucks gift cards, Spotify, Reddit, Easy, Wix customer sites, Iheart.com (IHeartRadio), and Pinterest are among the website affected according to Gizmodo. It's not known when the problem will be resolved.