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

Hacker infects 100K routers in latest botnet attack aimed at sending email spam

An attacker is trying to infect your router with malware in order to send spam emails. If your router uses a Broadcom UPnP SDK, it could become vulnerable to this attack. So far, 100,000 routers worldwide have been infected.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Gaming

The plug-and-play PC Classic joins the retro console bandwagon

Gaming company Unit-e is creating the PC Classic, a plug-and-play retro console that will come bundled with around 30 of the best DOS games. The system will support gamepads and keyboard setups.
Computing

Is your PC slow? Here's how to restore Windows 10 to factory settings

Computers rarely work as well after they've accumulated files and misconfigured settings. Thankfully, with this guide, you'll be able to restore your PC to its original state by learning how to factory reset Windows.
Computing

Mozilla’s built-in price-tracking extension makes it easy to shop with Firefox

Mozilla has heard those worries about Black Friday shopping, and is now introducing a new set of experimental extensions which aim to make it easier to find the best deals online.
Computing

Best Buy’s pre-Black Friday deal takes $330 off the 2017 Surface Pro bundle

If you don't need the latest Surface Pro, Best Buy has a heavily discounted rendition of the 2017 model available in its pre-Black Friday sale. For just $1,000, you can get the tablet with a Core i5 CPU.
Computing

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.
Computing

Buying a laptop on Black Friday? Don't make one of these rookie mistakes

Shopping for a laptop on Black Friday can win you some excellent deals, but you should also avoid making common mistakes. Check out what to avoid when buying a laptop for Black Friday and what danger signs to be wary of.
Computing

The Mac mini's price jump has crept into iMac territory. How do they compare?

Apple announced a long-awaited update to the Mac mini. Thanks to the updated specs and increase in price, it's begun to creep up to the base model iMac. In this guide, we now put up the specs on the newest refreshed Mac mini against the…
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Computing

Ray tracing not an option until it comes to all graphics cards, says AMD

Although Nvidia already supports the ray tracing feature on its high-end new GeForce Turning series of chips, AMD seemingly hinted it doesn't feel like ray tracing is ready until it comes to all level of graphics cards. 
Computing

Turn your desk into a command center with the best ultrawide monitors

Top of the line ultrawide monitors have the deepest curves, the sharpest colors, and the biggest screens on the market today. You’re going to want one, sooner or later. So why not sooner? These are the best ultrawide monitors you can buy…