Over the last few hours of the day GoDaddy's (and GoDaddy managed) websites have been on the fritz as webmasters and visitors alike are unable to access millions of websites held within GoDaddy's datacenters in an apparent Denial of Service (DDOS) attack. GoDaddy is currently scrambling to restore service to their customers at this very moment.
The individual claiming responsibility for the attack claims to be a member of the internet group Anonymous, though he acted alone and not with the collective organization. Anonymous is infamous for a variety of attacks on various websites & services, including the recent leaking of sensitive Apple data from Blue Toad, an analytics company that was collecting UDID information, like a serial number for iOS devices, that could be used for malicious activities in the wrong hands.
The belief at the moment is that the attack is not a traditional Denial-of-Service, where the attack is attempting to overload traffic to all of GoDaddy's servers, but instead a attack on the DNS servers that controls the redirecting of users from domain names (like www.DaniWeb.com) to the correct server IP Address of the website. Specific DNS servers that are unavailable at this time include secureserver.com, domancontrol.com, and others, though GoDaddy is trying hard to restore service at this time.
While no motive has yet been stated, GoDaddy has historically been a target to significant criticism from many internet communities due to their large size, support of the anti-privacy SOPA law (before changing their stance,) and various other incidents of controversy, the circumstances are also different, as the Denial-of-Service attack on DNS servers effects customers of GoDaddy far more than the company itself, and peak downtime estimates suggest as many as 48 million websites were affected by the attack.
While such an attack is directed toward GoDaddy perhaps for reasons previously mentioned, it should be noted this situation is possible with any web host, as DNS servers are the foundation of how requests to visit websites are made, and all of them are subject to the risk of a Denial-of-Service attack.
As of 5:00 PM EST, service for many GoDaddy websites has not yet been restored, and the DNS servers previously mentioned still remain out of service.