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04 March 2011, 10:57

WordPress hit by massive DDoS attack

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On Thursday 3 March, the world's largest blogging host, was subject to a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, the largest that it has ever experienced. The first notification on the status page for Automattic Inc., the owner of, stated that " is currently being targeted by a extremely large Distributed Denial of Service attack which is affecting connectivity in some cases. The size of the attack is multiple Gigabits per second and tens of millions of packets per second." Just over two hours later, Automattic reported that "Our systems are back to normal. We'll continue to monitor them and post updates here if needed."

Judging by various reports, there is as yet no indication of either the origin or reason for this attack. According to security company TechCrunch, the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, has informed them that: "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."

DDoS attacks, such as those during Operation Payback, are usually mounted from botnets – a number of computers that have been infected by malware that, given certain instructions or at a preset time, flood the target site with excessive amounts of traffic.

WordPress is open source software for the design of blogs and other web services. The manufacturer provides not only the software, but also the necessary space on a web server. About 18 million blogs run on the platform.


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