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Major cyber-attack takes down range of BBC services

31 December 2015 22:40


The British Broadcasting Corporation was in chaos as a major cyber attack took down a range of its services for several hours on Thursday.

The BBC’s News iPlayer, iPlayer Radio and other digital services went offline in a suspected hack attack early in the morning. Social media users went into meltdown as they could not load without showing an error message. TV viewers too were unable to catch up with programs on the BBC’s iPlayer.

According to the broadcaster, the outage was caused by a “distributed denial of service (DDos)” attack. This means hackers bombarded the website with so much traffic that its servers crashed. A tweet from the organisation’s technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, also confirmed that the BBC sites had suffered a DDoS attack.

Website users, iPlayer viewers could not upload programs for four hours on Thursday.
“The BBC is an obvious target and so it does take steps to mitigate any DDoS attacks,” Alan Woodward, a visiting professor at the University of Surrey’s department of computing, told Mirror Online. “So if this outage was due to this type of attack it must have been large and sustained, given how long and widespread it was.”

It is still unclear who was behind the attack. Most hackers worldwide are often prompt in posting about their successful attacks but, so far, there is no claim of responsibility for the latest incident.

BBC says its sites suffered “a distributed denial of service attack”.
It took the BBC personnel about four hours to fix the problems. “The BBC website is now back up and operating normally. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced,” the broadcaster said in a statement.

Social media reaction to the trouble was swift with people found expressing their fury and panic. Others took the outage in their stride, alluding to various scenarios which could have caused the technical hitch.

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