The BBC’s online properties, including its main site and popular streaming players, toppled offline intermittently for hours Thursday morning due to what has been described as a digital attack.
Users complained of outages of BBC’s website and popular online radio and iPlayer video services in the early hours of the morning, with the company reporting that its domain was operating normally again by midday.
Though the BCC press office has attributed the outages to a technical issue, the BBC news service itself reported the cause was a distributed denial of service, or DDoS attack, citing unnamed sources within the organization.
DDoS attacks overpower sites with traffic, making it difficulty for regular visitors to access them. They can be deployed as a form of protest or as a tactic of a more complex breach.
BBC’s terrestrial radio and its television broadcasts were unaffected.
The BBC’s site is among the most popular in the UK. It’s the biggest dedicated news site by traffic, and its phone app is installed by one out of every three people in the country, according to traffic tracker SimilarWeb.