The massive outage to BBC's online services on Thursday morning (31 December) was the result of a sustained cyberattack, according to sources at the broadcaster. The BBC experienced significant disruption across its websites, BBC iPlayer, and BBC apps, leading to thousands of complaints on social media.
BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones revealed that the outage was the result of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, though it is still unclear who might be behind the attack. Such attacks work by flooding the target server with web traffic, usually stemming from a botnet, in order to overload it.
An earlier statement released by the BBC press office said: "We're aware of a technical issue affecting the BBC website and are working to fix this now. We'll update you as soon as we can."
Web users first began reporting disruptions to services early on Thursday morning, while domain checking service Is It Down Right Now logged issues with the bbc.com website at 9.01 GMT. The BBC has not suffered a significant outage of its online services since 2011, when technical issues caused the bbc.co.uk website to go offline for an hour.
The BBC news flagship website (bbc.co.uk/news) and other related services have since been restored.