Users of dozens of popular sites and services — including Spotify, Twitter, Github, Reddit, Airbnb, and others — are grumbling about slow load times, missing content, or sites just plain being down periodically today. The good news is: no, it’s not just you. The bad news is: big chunks of the internet aren’t working because of a deliberate attack.
A DNS hosting service is one that basically connects a server to a name, and makes it so you can type a website name into your browser and have it resolve into a specific set of hosted content somewhere. So translating this all out of tech and into English, what’s happening is that some party or parties is/are sending massive amounts of coordinated traffic to one particular hosting company — Dyn — in order to overwhelm its ability to function.
As a result, legitimate users connecting to sites managed by Dyn may not be able to access the content they’re looking for, due to the barrage of robotic requests running interference.
The attack particularly seems to be affecting the US East region, and began around 6:00 this morning Eastern time — the hour when East Coast dwellers are first getting up, checking their phones, and heading into work, there to use the internet.
Sites that may be affected include Dyn itself, Twitter, Etsy, Github, SoundCloud, Spotify, the New York Times, all Vox Media sites, and more, according to TechCrunch and Hacker News. Other tech companies like Level 3 and ZenDesk have also been reporting connection issues related to this particular attack.
A look at the homepage of Down Detector right now is a pretty stark visual of how many sites are affected — you can see the spikes everywhere, and look up specific sites you’re trying to reach.
There’s not much individual users can do about it right now except be patient and try not to spam reload requests too much.