Hiding In Plain Sight: 24 Hours Of DNS Server Troubles

Some time early on May 31st I received a page telling me that this site was down. This has happened occasionally in the past and was almost always the result to something that I had done. That was not the case this time.

While I could not reach the domain I found that I could reach the server via its IP address. I was able to shell into the VPS and verify its status. It was in fact alive and healthy. By adding a hosts file entry in my desktop PC I was able to provide a local DNS solution, confirming that the server itself was completely happy.

It turns out that the company that handles DNS for this domain, which is not the hosting provider, was hit by what they characterize as a “larger than normal DDOS attack.” They tell me that the attack focused specifically on the DNS servers. They had been working to thwart the attack, and also adding additional servers to help handle the load.

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