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Major cyberattack knocks Twitter, Reddit, Spotify offline on U.S. East Coast

Some major internet companies suffered service disruptions for several hours on Friday morning as internet infrastructure provider Dyn said it was hit by a cyber attack that disrupted traffic mainly on the U.S. East Coast.

Social network Twitter, music-streamer Spotify, discussion site Reddit and news site Vox were among the companies whose services were reported to be down on Friday morning.

Amazon.com Inc’s web services division, one of the world’s biggest cloud computing companies, also disclosed an outage that lasted several hours on Friday morning. It was not immediately clear if it was linked to the attack on Dyn and representatives of Amazon could not immediately be reached.

But as of about 9:36 a.m. ET, Dyn reported that all its services had been restored to normal.

Dyn Executive Vice President Scott Hilton said in a statement that the company was investigating to determine how the attack led to the outage.

“Our first priority over the last couple of hours has been our customers and restoring their performance,” he said.

He said the problem was resolved at about 9:20 a.m. ET. The company earlier reported its engineers were working to respond to an “attack” that mainly affected users on the East Coast.

An FBI representative said she had no immediate comment on the outages.

Several technology news websites, such as Gizmodo and The Next Web, reported that the outages happened as Dyn suffered what’s known as a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack.

This is when hackers flood a website with so many requests at the same time that the website crashes, unable to handle the load.

Dyn is a Manchester,N.H.-based provider of services for managing domain name servers (DNS), which act as switchboards connecting internet traffic. Requests to access sites are transmitted through DNS servers that direct them to computers that host websites.

Dyn’s website says customers include some of the world’s biggest corporations and Internet firms: Pfizer, Visa, Netflix and Twitter, SoundCloud and BT, according to Dyn’s website.

Attacking a large DNS provider has the potential to create massive disruptions because such firms are responsible for forwarding large amounts of traffic across the Internet.