“We’re still working. Getting closer to normal. Thanks for all your patience and understanding.” “Most customer hosted sites are back online. We’re working out the last few kinks for our site & control centers. No customer data was compromised.” – these are the latest Facebook posts on GoDaddy’s page. “Most customer hosted sites back online. We’re working out the last few kinks for our site & control centers. No customer data compromised. ” – GoDaddy tweeted late last morning.

The good news – sites are coming back up. The bad news – while GoDaddy’s servers were “taken down” by Anonymous member, many small businesses have suffered the disruption. I don’t know if true motivation of this particular hacker was just claim to fame (some people do stupid things just because they can), or if the hacker was out to “punish” the “evil corporation”.

What troubles me is that it affected millions of honest working people, who depend on their websites and email services to run their business, and then further, their end users, who depend on information that is being distributed by those businesses. And that includes not just businesses, but not-for-profits, as well.

As an example, I want to share a personal experience. I belong to the  My Autism Team –  an organization supporting an online community of parents and caretakers of people with Autism Spectrum disorders, providing them with a searchable local database of over 30,000 service providers, a social network that makes it easier for parents to connect with each other and exchange insights about providers. In their words “More often than not, parents feel alone and excluded from information that can help them help their child. Our philosophy is to make it easy for all parents to easily get answers they need”. Basically, this website is a research tool and a support group.  As a parent of a child on the Autism Spectrum, I find this website incredibly helpful. Needless to say, I was not able to access the website yesterday, and an email from My Autism Team stated:

Hi Dina,

You may have noticed that, starting this morning, there have been some difficulties getting to MyAutismTeam.com. It appears to be an issue with our domain provider affecting thousands of other sites in addition to ours.

We do apologize for the problem, and hope that this is resolved soon. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at: Support@MyAutismTeam.com

Thank you for your understanding and patience!

Best,
MyAutismTeam

My Autism Team was able to send emails to people an to notify them of an issue – not right away, but it was helpful. As of this morning, their website, hosted at GoDaddy is up. But the damage to their organization, and many others like this one, has been done. While most people are understanding, and realize that what happened to their website was probably out of their control, some people, who are not following the news, who are too busy taking care of their autistic children, siblings or friends, and who need help and support, especially in the moments of distress, were denied the opportunity for support, and were basically taken advantage of, all for an elusive “cause” that this hacker was pursuing.

 

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