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GoDaddy Going Down Has Big Implications

When I log into this blog, I am presented by a qualifier developed by Sweet Captcha which also stops auto spamming of this blog. Since this is a plug to the WordPress CMS, I am not alone in using this clever and fun qualifier.


Yesterday however, I was not able to login to post a new entry. Without the grapics shown above, I could not complete the process of logging in. Sweet Captcha simply would not load. It took me a few minutes to realize that maybe it was not my host provider or my ISP connection but something else.


I did a whois search for where sweetcaptcha.com was hosted. Sure enough, it was one of the many that were hosted on godaddy.com

So until it was cleared up, I was not able to use my site as a small widget coming from a service hosted on a godaddy.com server prevented me. This to me highlights the vulnerability of any one company hosting so many or providing many services. What would happen it the servers failed because of the failure of the business rather than some other reason? Pause for thought. (GoDaddy is the largest Domain Name Registrar, with over 4 times the domains of its nearest competiton.)


Internet veteran Cris Worthington summed it up best in a post yesterday on Facebook.

For my friends who are not techies, the significance of the GoDaddy outage is as follows:

1. GoDaddy is like the “Yellow Pages” for a vast part of the Internet.
2. When you type “www.cbc.ca” into your browser’s address bar, your computer looks up the IP Address on a Domain Name Server (DNS). Your Internet Service Provider usually provides the DNS, but they get the entries for their DNS from sources like GoDaddy.
3. The hackers who brought GoDaddy down today didn’t just bring down a “website”, they caused GoDaddy to broadcast bad data to all of the DNS servers around the world.

In effect, each time you type a URL into your browser for a site registered with GoDaddy your “call” is being routed to a “wrong number”!

This mess will take hours or perhaps days to fix, as some DNS servers only update their records every 48 hours.

Indeed. A mess it was.