FCC: Commission Hit By DDoS Attacks

Amidst reports that John Oliver's segment on Title II on Sunday night's Last Week Tonight on HBO had created a flood of comments that brought down the FCC's comment site, the FCC released a statement saying it had been hit by a denial-of-service attack.

The statement came from chief information officer Dr. David Bray about delays experienced by "consumers" trying to file comments. He did not specify the net neutrality docket.

“Beginning on Sunday night at midnight [Last Week Tonight aired at 11 p.m.], our analysis reveals that the FCC was subject to multiple distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS). These were deliberate attempts by external actors to bombard the FCC’s comment system with a high amount of traffic to our commercial cloud host."

He said the attacks were not attempts to file comments themselves but "rather they made it difficult for legitimate commenters to access and file with the FCC. While the comment system remained up and running the entire time, these DDoS events tied up the servers and prevented them from responding to people attempting to submit comments. We have worked with our commercial partners to address this situation and will continue to monitor developments going forward.” 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.