UPDATE (6.52am PT): GitHub says everything is back to normal now, so the problems lasted roughly an hour and a half.
GitHub is fending off a massive attack on its systems that briefly knocked its developer service out on Friday. The company said at 12.44 UTC that its services were recovering, around half an hour after the issue struck – at the time of writing it’s been an hour since GitHub declared a major service outage, and things still aren’t fully fixed.
The culprit was a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, which involves flooding the target’s servers. According to GitHub’s status page: “We’ve put mitigation in place that should deflect the attack, and services are recovering. We’re continuing to monitor closely.”
GitHub gives coders a properly version-controlled way to collaborate on their work. It is very widely used by startups and by open source projects, and work generally grinds to a halt when it goes down.
A typical response to today’s outage:
Major service outage on #github in the middle of our Friday bug review! Wow! Guess it's lunch time then.
— Emma Rose Metcalfe (@erm___) July 19, 2013
The service last experienced heavy DDoS attacks back in March, following another spate last September. A particularly sustained DDoS on GitHub in February 2012 lasted for a whole week, although the service mostly managed to stay up during that time.