Just recently there were reports that the popular domain name host Godaddy was having serious issues. The problem seemed to stem from their domain name servers. And that means that anyone who was hosting with them or anyone who purchased a domain name with them had the potential for their site to go out at anytime during the day. And that is what happened to millions of customers who used the GoDaddy DNS servers. All in one swoop there were millions of web sites down and no-one seemed to know why.
During the time that it was happening people seemed to suggest that there was some kind of attack that was happening to the DNS server. There was a suggestion that the hacking group Anonymous was able to get into the server and they were able to destroy the DNS data that was in there. Of course GoDaddy is denying that any of this happened. GoDaddy is saying that they were just having normal technical issues and that everything would be taken care of soon. It has only been a few days and right now we are no closer to the truth than we were when it first happened. Most of the people out there are going to believe GoDaddy but it is, of course, not in their best interests to say they were hacked (if indeed they were). They would not want anyone to know that their servers were unsafe and that they let the bad guys get through. But on that same note, Anonymous could be lying – there is a lot of nerd cred able to be earned by taking out a web site like GoDaddy. They are not exactly a popular web site in the tech community right now. They have been a controversial site for a few years now and maybe half the people who saw the person who took them down (allegedly) see them as a hero. So there is no question that someone would want to take credit for it.
But the one truth is that people being able to mess with the DNS system is a major problem. That is the main way that we are able to travel around the internet and someone being able to manipulate it could cause some serious issues. For the people that do not know the letters DNS stand Domain Name System. It is the system that allows us to be able to translate the IP address of our web site to being a domain name. So for example if you have a domain name Mysite.com, it originally started off as being something like 197.23.334.21. It was the DNS system that changed it from being a bunch of numbers to being a domain name that you could actually read. The people who created the system figured out that people would be able to read the letters of a domain name better than they could just a random set of numbers. And of course that turned out to be true.
So when you have an attack like you did on GoDaddy this week then that means you can cause serious trouble. It could actually end up being a lot more trouble than what we saw. This is not the first time that the web has seen DNS issues and it will most likely not be the last. Security when it comes to DNS is a serious issue.