GoDaddy Hacker Attack: Can the Domain Giant Recover Its Reputation?

Thousands of websites hosted by GoDaddy.com crashed for several hours on Monday, causing trouble for the mainly small businesses that rely on the world’s largest domain registrar.

Monday saw reports that GoDaddy’s DNS servers went down for several hours, causing many of its clients’ sites to get knocked offline. Photo: Tilak Bisht/Flickr

GoDaddy, which hosts more than 5 million websites, told reporters that its IT department is investigating the problem as well as restore its clients’ websites. It declined to say how many websites were affected.

“GoDaddy did experience some intermittent outages, and it impacted our site and some customer sites,” company spokeswoman Elizabeth Driscoll said. “We’re working to restore all services. Some are already back online.”

Many believe that Anonymous Own3r was the initiator of the attack, the self-proclaimed security leader of Anonymous (to be clear, Anonymous is not taking any responsibility for this attack and Own3r says he is acting solely as himself).

Own3r will likely soon be forgotten. The websites will be retried as well as users’ mail servers. The real question is, can GoDaddy retrieve its reputation?

The story won’t be finished with the world’s largest domain registrar restoring its network.  It seems like GoDaddy would face questions about its customer service, its security infrastructure and its reliability.

The company is no stranger to PR nightmares, reports Mashable. GoDaddy is wuite famous for its awkward Super Bowl commercials that have received negative reviews from users across the world. The former CEO Bob Parsons and his infamous elephant safari are worth mentioning.

The service’s has recently drawn attention due to its temporary support for SOPA which resulted in boycotts and mass-transfers before finally the company finally agreed to pull its support from the controversial bill.

However, none of those issues had very much impact on GoDaddy’s sales. But Monday’s incident is different. DDoS attacks can happen to anyone, but the problem for the webhost is that it happened to them — and the company had no emergency plan.

Well, the main and the only goal for GoDaddy is to keep its sites online. This tactics will be more efficient for companies that host DNS servers, the ones that connect a domain name and IP address — ensuring that a user visits the world’s largest searching giant google.com, it directs to the right web server.

“It doesn’t matter how cheap your service is, or how many times you advertise during the Super Bowl,” writes Christina Warren of Mashable.

She continued: “If your 10.5 million customers don’t feel comfortable buying domain names with you or recommending you to friends because you can’t be relied upon to perform basic DNS functions, you’re not going to remain the industry leader for much longer.”

The successfully fulfilled Monday attack demonstrates that GoDaddy is not a secure place to host a site — and that its DNS servers aren’t those to trust.

Many users and small businesses are still shocked that GoDaddy’s entire DNS network was capable of being taken down, bearing in mind the fact that the company has nine server facilities around the world. It’s a stark reminder of just how vulnerable networks are.

Thus, the domain giant’s new leadership (Parsons stepped down in December 2011) has nothing to do but get ready for numerous angry customers, additional technical problems and long-term residual costs of this situation.

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