WordPress suffers devastating DDoS attack

old-wordpressPopular blog publishing platform WordPress.com suffered the most serious distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in its history yesterday. While it is so far unknown who launched the DDoS, the company says they believe it to 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,” WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg told TechCrunch. “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.”

The attack caused temporary disruption to many of the approximately 30 million websites WordPress serves — sites like TechCrunch, CNN, CBS and yours truly, Digital Trends. WordPress-powered sites make up 10 percent of all websites in the entire world.

So who launched the attack, and why?

Sadly we don’t currently know. These days, DDoS has become nearly synonymous with hacktivist group Anonymous, which used this type of attack to take down a wide variety of websites, including the corporate sites of Visa and Master Card. But there’s so far no evidence to pin this particular attack on Anon — and none of their standard press releases that are usually published in conjunction with Anonymous campaigns of upheaval.

WordPress has a large number of “non-English blogs” on its network, so that only narrows things down slightly. And if you haven’t already noticed, there’s a lot of “politically motivated” disruption going on throughout the world right now, with varying degrees of social unrest sweeping through many countries in the Middle East and northern Africa, and spreading to countries in Asia. These political dissidents are increasingly using blogging and other self-publishing outlets to organize protests and get word of their struggles out to the rest of the world, so it’s possible that one of the contended governments orchestrated the attacks for their own purposes.

In fact, WordPress.com was not the only site to be targeted in a DDoS attack yesterday; the government of South Korea issued a cyber security alert stating that the websites of 29 government and other agencies had been affected by DDoS. Those sites included those of “the presidential Blue House, the US forces, the military Joint Chiefs of Staff, the ministries of foreign affairs, defense and unification, parliament and the tax office,” AFP reported.

It’s unclear whether the attack on WordPress.com and on those listed above are related. But if they are, it’s obvious this wasn’t just the work of someone upset with the latest WordPress CMS update.

Computing

HP drops killer deals on laptops with up to $1,300 off for Memorial Day Weekend

HP is currently dropping prices on Spectre x360, Envy, Pavilion, and Omen laptops during its Memorial Day event. So if you're in dire need of a new laptop, the latest holiday savings may be exactly what you're looking for.
Computing

The Dell XPS 13 headlines the best laptop deals for May 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we have you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Computing

Keep your kids safe online with these great parental control tools

The internet can be a dangerous place, especially for your loved ones. Check out our selection of the best free parental control software for Windows and MacOS, so you can monitor your child and block unsavory sites.
Computing

These external drives have speed, durability, and storage space to spare

Whether you want an external storage drive that is fast, portable, or comes with a ton of storage, these are the best external hard drives available today. They all come with great features and competitive pricing.
Computing

The 2019 ThinkPad lineup is robust. Here's how to pick the right one for you

Be it the X series, the T series, E series, it can be tough to find the best Lenovo laptop that is right for you. To help, we'll break down all the options available to make your choice a more informed one.
Computing

Here’s how to watch AMD reveal its new Ryzen chips at Computex

AMD will be holding a pre-Computex keynote on May 27 to announce its new line of 3rd-generation Ryzen processors and accompanying Radeon Navi graphics cards. Here's how to watch the keynote live wherever you are in the world.
Computing

Microsoft might finally embrace USB-C on next-gen Surface Pro 7

USB-C could finally come to Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet. According to a Microsoft patent filing, the port was shown in an illustration, suggesting that the company is working to support this feature in the future.
Computing

Should you buy a MacBook Pro or a Razer Blade Stealth? We'll help you decide

Laptop head to heads are a great way to see which one might be the right one for you. Our latest sees the Razer Blade Stealth (2019) vs. MacBook Pro in a fight to see which one deserves to be your next laptop.
Computing

AMD's latest Navi graphics cards are incoming. Here's what to expect

AMD's Navi graphics cards could be available as soon as July 2019 — as long as it's not delayed by stock problems. Billed as a successor to Polaris, Navi promises to deliver better performance to consoles like Sony's PlayStation 5.
Computing

Ryzen 3000 chips will pack a punch, and could launch as early as July

AMD's upcoming Ryzen 3000 generation of CPUs could be the most powerful processors we've ever seen, with higher core counts, greater clock speeds, and competitive pricing. Here's what we know so far.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Deals

Walmart Memorial Day sale: 4K TVs, laptops, and Apple iPads get price cuts

The Walmart Memorial Day sale has begun. With some pretty nice savings on Apple iPads, Samsung and Vizio 4K TVs, laptops, and Google Home devices, now is a great time to snag some electronics for cheap.
Computing

Here’s how to watch the Nvidia Computex 2019 press conference

Here’s everything you need to know about Nvidia’s upcoming press conference at Computex 2019 in Taipei, Taiwan; including what to expect during the press conference and how and when to watch it.