GoDaddy rejects claims that hacker took them offline

Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 Chevrolet.(AFP Photo / Tom Pennington) has officially commented on the outage that affected millions of customers of the largest Internet domain registrar this week, denying accusations that a hacker was responsible for the debacle.

Scott Wagner, interim CEO of GoDaddy, released a statement early Tuesday to explain the widespread problems reported a day earlier regarding its domain name hosting and email provider services.

Originally, a self-described affiliate of the Anonymous movement took credit for the outage, a claim that was not verified by either the alleged culprit or the Internet company itself until GoDaddy dismissed the accusations a day later.

“Yesterday, and many of our customers experienced intermittent service outages starting shortly after 10 a.m. PDT. Service was fully restored by 4 p.m. PDT,” Wagner writes. “The service outage was not caused by external influences. It was not a ‘hack’ and it was not a denial of service attack (DDoS). We have determined the service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables. Once the issues were identified, we took corrective actions to restore services for our customers and have implemented measures to prevent this from occurring again.”

Wagner adds, “At no time was any customer data at risk or were any of our systems compromised.’

A Twitter user logged into the @AnonymousOwn3r account took credit for the outage after it was first reported early Monday. By using hacked servers as botnets, the Twitter user suggested they administered a distributed denial-of-service waged at GoDaddy’s computers, coupled with other techniques, including sql injections.

The user declined to give specifics for their motivation, but wrote, “i'd like to test how the cyber security is safe and for more reasons that i can not talk now.”

Some experts have suggested that if a hacker was indeed responsible for the outage, it may have been related to GoDaddy’s initial support of the Stop Online Piracy Act, controversial Internet legislation that the company originally backed and has since changed their stance, but not before thousands of users canceled their accounts last year. GoDaddy’s support of SOPA was a central talking point of a national campaign to raise awareness of what SOPA would have done to Internet regulation if passed earlier this year.

In recent days, the White House confirmed that the Obama administration has drafted a cybersecurity Executive Order that is expected to be made public soon in an effort to install computer infrastructure legislation after Congress’ repeatedly failed attempts to pass SOPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act and other related bills. GoDaddy has not publically endorsed CISPA or other attempts at cyber legislation since reversing their pro-SOPA stance last year.

No proof has been provided by either @AnonymousOwn3r or GoDaddy that suggests that the self-described “Security leader of #Anonymous” was actually involved in an attack. Other aligned with Anonymous, including social media accounts considered closely tied with the hacktivism movement, distanced themselves from the claims as well.