Yesterday was a rough day for around 30 million websites - mainly blogs - hosted by WordPress.com. The hosting service for sites running on the WordPress platform was subjected to a massive distributed denial of service attack, which are usually caused by a malicous botnet operator, directing thousands or millions of Internet-connected computers to simultaneously attempt to access a site multiple times. That creates a traffic tidal wave that overwhelms a site's resources, causing it to perform poorly or totally crash.
That's what happened to WordPress.com sites. The DDOS that hit created multiple gigabits per second worth of traffic overload, making many sites inaccessible to users and publishers. WordPress.com hosts 10 percent of the Internet's web sites, and the attack impacted many of the web's top sites.
By the end of the day, the attack had subsided, allowing the sites to recover. WordPress.com is looking into the source of the attack, as well as its intended target, which it suspects to have had a political motivation.