” DDOS ATTACK ” and Alert icon on display of computer for management server in data server room
Sudden and wide-ranging outages in online and telecommunication services in the U.S. has led some to believe it is the result of a coordinated attack.
NOTE: June 16 update regarding T-Mobile’s admission of the outage is at the bottom of this story.
On June 15, a flurry of reports on a number of different services in the U.S. have indicated that the country may be experiencing a coordinated DDoS, or “distributed denial of service” attack. These attacks are malicious attempts to disrupt or shut down targeted servers by overwhelming them with traffic from multiple sources.
According to outage aggregator Downdetector, users reported outages in major mobile carriers (T-Mobile, Metro, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Consumer Cellular, US Cellular), Internet providers (Spectrum, Comcast, CenturyLink, Cox), social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Twitter), games and game services (Fortnite, Roblox, Call of Duty, Steam, Xbox Live, Playstation Network), streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Twitch), banks (Chase Bank, Bank of America), delivery services (Doordash), and other major platforms like Google and Zoom.
Of yet, the would-be source of these attacks is still unknown. @YourAnonCentral, a popular Anonymous twitter account, speculates that it, “may be China as the situation between South and North Korea is currently deteriorating.”
The same Twitter account cites the Digital Attack Map, which tracks the “top daily DDOS attacks worldwide” and offers a visualization of these attacks, but some, like cybersecurity expert Marcus Hutchins, claim that the map is “badly plotted” and does not currently “indicate an attack against the US.”
All major carriers are listed on Downdetector, but Verizon claims its problems are being artificially represented through attempts to connect to T-Mobile.
“Verizon’s network is performing well,” a Verizon spokesperson told DCD. “We’re aware that another carrier is having network issues. Calls to and from that carrier may receive an error message. We understand Downdetector is falsely reporting Verizon network issues.”
T-Mobile President of Technology Neville Ray has been providing updates on the situation, but four hours after his original post, the company was still working to resolve the issues for all users.
According to AT&T corporate communications, the network is “operating normally,” citing the possibility that problems may be arising as users try to connect to “other carriers’ networks.”
UPDATE 5:00 am EDT:
Forbes Senior Contributor Davey Winder has reported that the outages did in fact stem from T-Mobile, and there is no current evidence of a coordinated cyberattack. In a statement issued at 11:45pm EDT, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert wrote, “Starting just after 12 pm ET and continuing throughout the day, T-Mobile has been experiencing a voice and text issue that has intermittently impacted customers in markets across the U.S…. This is an IP traffic related issue that has created significant capacity issues in the network core throughout the day.”
At 1:03am EDT June 16, Sievert updated the statement to say that the issue had been resolved.