Twitter is ablaze with the news that WordPress.com is dealing with a distributed denial-of-service attack (DD0S). If you are facing WordPress problems, this is the explanation.
Techcrunch reports that WordPress.com hosts 30 million publishers and receives 300 million monthly viewers. About 10% of websites around the world may have been affected by this DDoS attack. Such attacks are by definition anonymous but WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg has indicated that the attack may have been politically motivated.
“There’s an ongoing DDoS attack that was large enough to impact all three of our datacenters in Chicago, San Antonio, and Dallas — it’s currently been neutralized but it’s possible it could flare up again later, which we’re taking proactive steps to implement.
This is the largest and most sustained attack we’ve seen in our 6 year history. We suspect it may have been politically motivated against one of our non-English blogs but we’re still investigating and have no definitive evidence yet.”
Wikipedia describes a DDoS attack as “an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users.” NakedSecurity offers a brilliant visual of a DDoS attack as “15 fat men trying to get through a revolving door at the same time.” The scale of the attack and the range of impact makes it likely that we will hear more about who is responsible and what prompted it all. The implication that it may be a censorship effort makes it very intriguing and raises questions about website content and right to speech on the international stage.