On Wednesday morning, several major sites, including Reddit, Kickstarter and the New York Times went down from an apparent Direct Denial of Service attack.

After a few minutes, some of the sites, like Reddit, appear to have recovered, but Twitter users report that more and more sites are going down. The DDoS attack comes one day after the Petya ransomware attack held computers hostage across the world, including in the U.S., although the two events do not immediately appear to be connected.

Right now, nytimes.com currently displays an “Error 503: Maximum threads for service reached,” one of the common error prompts when a DDoS attack takes down a site. At some point on Wednesday morning, a similar error showed on Reddit, Kickstarter, Github, The Guardian, and other sites.

The NYT, Guardian, Github and Reddit have not acknowledged the attack on their public twitter feeds yet. Reddit appears to have recovered, but the New York Times has been up and down when I checked it while writing this story. There is precedent for this kind of widespread DDoS attack: in October of last year, a massive onslaught of hacked Internet of Things devices powered a DDoS attack that took down Reddit, Twitter, Spotify, and dozens of other sites by knocking out a single DNS (Domain Name Service) provider that services many websites on the net. While DYN recovered, some of the sites were offline for hours.

This story is developing


If you see a 503 error on a website, send me an email at jack@inverse.com (with a screenshot of the URL and error message, preferably).

Photos via Screenshot, Flickr / zodman