Popular social news site Reddit was hit by a malicious distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on Friday morning, even as Internet users attempted to report on the massive shootout between police officers and suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings that occurred on Monday.
Reddit first announced technical difficulties around 5:39 a.m. ET, educating Chrome and Firefox users on how to see a cached version of the site as the company worked on fixing the issue.
We are working on recovering from what appears to be a DDoS.
— reddit status (@redditstatus) April 19, 2013
Although DDoS attacks are known to be caused by overloading Web servers with external communication requests, Reddit was quick to tell users that the attack was not simply too much traffic from users – especially given the circumstances of that early hour, with live updating news on the Boston bombing suspects coming directly from users – but was in fact a “malicious” attack.”
Twitter announced it had recovered from the DDoS attack at 7:12 a.m. ET, but tweeted less than 20 minutes later that the site “continues to be impacted.”
The last update from Reddit was released at 8:11 a.m. ET:
We've mitigated part of the DDoS at this time. However, certain site functions are disabled.
â€” reddit status (@redditstatus) April 19, 2013
Reddit has modified a number of its most popular links to read-only mode “due to heavy traffic,” and continues to showcase a banner at the top of the page informing users that “site availability is being impacted by a malicious DDoS attack.”
Meanwhile, Reddit users continue to discuss the DDoS attack amongst each other, posting their experiences during the blackout and openly asking for the responsible parties to come forth. For the most part, however, most seem to be more concerned about the ongoing events in Boston, as police continue their manhunt for suspects in the area after an allegedly foiled bomb plot at MIT turned deadly, resulting in the death of one of the alleged suspects.
IBTimes has a live updating blog detailing the ongoing events as police continue to search for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, which are currently at large at the time of this writing.