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Here’s Why Spotify, Soundcloud, and Twitter Are So Crappy Today

Perhaps you went to listen to the new D.R.A.M. album via Spotify’s web app this morning, and noticed that Spotify wasn’t working. Then, you went to Twitter to vent your frustration, and Twitter wasn’t working, either.

What gives? It turns out that one of the internet’s largest Domain Name Server (DNS) hosts is under a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack from a group of apparent hackers. What this means for you is that a huge list of sites–including Spotify, Soundcloud, Twitter, Reddit, the New York Times, and many others–is difficult or outright impossible to access.

For a more technical explanation of what DNS is, and how this attack is messing up your music listening this morning, Gizmodo also has you covered. The gist is that DNS is the “phone book” of the internet–it takes your requests to navigate your browser to a specific website, and makes sure that you get there. DDoS is among the most common techniques used to bring down a particular website or service–basically, you intentionally overload a server with way more requests than it can handle, bringing it down not with any kind of password-cracking subterfuge, but brute force.

It’s unclear for how long the attack will go on: at the time of publication–about 1:20 p.m. EST on Friday–I’ve been able to get to Soundcloud and Spotify just fine, but minutes before, they weren’t loading at all.