LinkedIn Outage Caused by DDOS Attack on Network Solutions

The DNS issues occurred while Network Solutions attempted to address the attack

The outage suffered by LinkedIn on Wednesday was caused by an issue with DNS servers. Cybercriminals were not directly responsible for the LinkedIn downtime, but they indirectly played a part.

Security researchers from Cisco have been monitoring the events and they found that a number of organizations with domain names registered with Network Solutions had problems similar to LinkedIn.

“Their DNS nameservers were replaced with nameservers at The nameservers at were configured to reply to DNS requests for the affected domains with IP addresses in the range,” Cisco’s Jaeson Schultz explained in a blog post.

“Cisco observed a large number of requests directed at these confluence-network IP addresses. Nearly 5000 domains may have been affected based on passive DNS data for those IPs.”

But what caused the name servers to be replaced?

According to Network Solutions, they were hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack on Wednesday night.

“In the process of resolving a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) incident on Wednesday night, the websites of a small number of Network Solutions customers were inadvertently affected for up to several hours,” Network Solutions stated.

They reassure customers that no data has been compromised as a result of the incident.

So, as Cisco highlights, the issues experienced by LinkedIn and others are the result of both malicious activity and misconfiguration.

“Interestingly, several of these domains were setup under different nameservers at For example, the domain was pointed to the DNS nameservers and Yelp had their nameservers changed to and,” Schultz noted.

“Fidelity, meanwhile, was pointed at and However, the fact that so many domains were displaced in such a highly visible way supports Network Solutions’ claim that this was indeed a configuration error.”

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