Wired put up a neat little post titled “5 Epic Hacks That Never Happened”. There’s a theme that runs through several of these “hacks-that-never-happened” – DNS misconfiguration causes the site to go dark, and a hacker claims credit.
In 2012, a customer of ours, who has one of the top 5 busiest sites on the planet, went offline for about an hour. A hacktivist group claimed credit. We started gearing up to assist when the customer informed us that it was DNS misconfiguration. The issue was resolved and the site was back online.
But you can almost see it, can’t you: a “hacker” of questionable talent is sitting in a dark room trying to take down the one of the largest sites on the Internet using only his laptop and some scripts he downloaded. Suddenly the site goes down. He sits back, stunned at his own success. “I’m amazing!” he thinks. Then he posts a screed about how he should be expected.
Is there a larger lesson here? Don’t believe every tango down claim.
Really large sites with popular brands are under attack 24/7 by someone, somewhere, so any time that site goes down, for whatever reason, there will be some script-kiddie out there thinking he can make it rain when he wants.