UPDATE: There were three waves of cyberattacks today, but as of 7 p.m., they appear to have been resolved.
It all started Friday morning, when a slew of digital publishers and other ecommerce players were hit by a cyberattack, causing their sites in some parts of the U.S. to go out in a problem that lingered into the early evening. According to DownDetector—check out its map above—the East Coast and Southern California were hit hardest while Western Europe also saw outages.
Twitter was inaccessible to many users for hours, while Spotify, Pinterest, Shopify and SoundCloud also had major outages. Additionally, Etsy, Reddit, Airbnb, The New York Times and The Boston Globe were down due to the ongoing outages, per TechCrunch.
Hacker News is running an updated list of which sites are currently crashing. At different points throughout the day, such websites were fully live again, but then some of them—most notably, Twitter—went dark once more.
The development seemed particularly bad for publishers that rely on ad impressions for revenue—Twitter, Pinterest, NYT—but the damage was even worse for internet retailers Shopify and Etsy, which likely lost sales. It will be interesting to see whether industry analysts weigh in on what financial damage was done to the affected players.
The outages were apparently being caused by a distributed denial-of-service—or DDoS—attack on web-domain provider Dyn. Late Friday morning, the Ottawa-based company posted information related to the attacks, including this message: "Our engineers continue to investigate and mitigate several attacks aimed against the Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure."