GoDaddy Attack Leaves Millions of Small Businesses Without Email

The domain and web host GoDaddy, which hosts more than 5 million websites went down for several hours yesterday causing a panic amongst many small business owners who all of a sudden ‘went dark’.

Elite Email was not directly effected by this and didn’t have a moment of downtime since our data centers are different than GoDaddy’s, but we did receive many calls from people saying they were not getting their emails. This happened because although we sent the emails the same way as we always do, the server that would generally respond on the other end simply did not answer. This was because GoDaddy was the victim of what appears to be the “Anonymous” hacker group, which overloaded their servers and completely shut down the web giant.

GoDaddy spokeswoman Elizabeth Driscoll said that by 5:50pm EDT all services were restored. However, during that time millions of emails couldn’t get to where they were going and many websites were left completely offline.

As soon as we saw what was happening we immediately tweaked our sending algorithms to accommodate for the GoDaddy problems to ensure that once full service was restored everything would land in the inbox as expected.

So, our customers who sent emails yesterday may notice that even if they sent their email in the early afternoon, there would be a spike in opens/clicks in the evening as all of the GoDaddy customers came back online and started opening the emails you sent.

GoDaddy has been in the cross-hairs of hackers because it publicly supported federal anti-piracy legislation called the “Stop Online Piracy Act” or “SOPA”. Many people who oppose this act (which includes me!) felt the bill would support censorship of the internet which is definitely something a lot of people do not want. When GoDaddy first announced their support there was a max exodus of customers who left and now with this recent outage I’m sure the troubles will continue.

The good news is that everything is back to normal and our deliverability team has been monitoring everything closely all day and it’s been smooth sailing.


GoDaddy has released a statement where they claim the cause of the outage was not due to hacking or a DOS attack. They are blaming “internal network events”. Was it the hackers… was it an internal network failure….who knows!?

About Robert Burko

Robert Burko is CEO and Founder of Elite Digital, a leading digital marketing agency. As one of Canada's chief digital marketing specialists, Burko has appeared on national television, radio, podcasts, and in countless print publications and blogs across North America. Burko is also a professor of Digital Marketing & Social Media at Seneca College in Toronto. Recognized as a thought leader in his industry, Robert is often invited to speak as an expert in his field at high-profile events across North America.

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