The US National Security Agency (NSA) has vehemently denied current circulating rumours that the extended downtime of its website on Friday was caused by a DDoS attack, blaming the error on a botched system update instead.

Some rumours on the web have suggested that the downtime is the work of the ‘hacktivist’ movement Anonymous, whilst the Rustle League group had claimed responsibility on Twitter. However, it soon emerged that the post was nothing more than a joke.  “Want to make media headlines? Wait for a large website to have a technical glitch. Say ‘site tango down’. Profit,” explains a message on the group’s social network feed.

NSA Botched Update Caused Downtime Not DDOS


Last Friday evening, the NSA website suddenly disappeared from the Web for a period of approximately eight hours and in the absence of any official information, Twitter was buzzing with wild rumours and theories.  Last week, reports suggested that the agency conducted extensive surveillance operations in Europe; specifically France and Germany.  Apparently even spying on the calls of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and on Saturday, the “Stop Watching Us” rally was scheduled to take place in Washington, DC in the US.

However, the NSA has recently said the downtime was caused by an error during scheduled maintenance and not, despite heavy speculation, on any retaliatory campaign.  The agency has said: “ was not accessible for several hours tonight because of an internal error that occurred during a scheduled update. The issue will be resolved this evening…Claims that the outage was caused by a distributed denial of service attack are not true.”

Following some revelations that the NSA could have monitored German Chancellor Merkel’s phone, Deutsche Telekom has proposed a ‘German Internet’, shielded from the prying eyes of foreign intelligence operations.

[Image via zowchow]