WordPress.com yesterday recovered from the largest ever Distributed Denial of Service attack that the service had ever seen which went to the magnitude of multiple GBs per second. The service, however, was under attack again in the early hours of this morning, and services were finally restored at around 11:15 UTC.
WordPress.com is a host for close to 18 million sites, most of which are news or media portals, which has led many to believe that these attacks have originated from the volatile regions in the Middle East. The region has been experiencing a strong clash between its leaders and residents and the internet has come out as one of the biggest avenues for the people to mobilize. The leaders of these countries have thus been trying to cut off various services on the internet to avoid mass revolutions, and this can be an area from where WordPress could have been attacked.
However, Matt Mullenweg, the founder of Automattic, disagrees with these notions. He says that a large majority of these cyber-attacks actually originated from China and a small fraction from Japan and Korea as well. According to him, one of the sites which was much targeted by the attackers was a Chinese language site which is also currently banned in the Chinese search engine Baidu. WordPress.com is, however, refraining from releasing the name of the site until its finds out the reason of it being targeted. Mullenweg has his own theories according to which the magnitude of the attacks hints at them being motivated by politics. He says that DDoS attacks are fairly common for the service and the strength of its well organized infrastructure generally handles them very well and keeps their effects negligible. The recent attacks, however, were something on a different scale of magnitude as they not only affected many WordPress.com sites but also many others on the same network.