Android app takes down National Weather Service website

Android app takes down National Weather Service website
Requests for weather information from a single Android app, apparently brought down the National Weather Service website on Monday. A message on the NWS status page blamed an "abusing Android app" for preventing visitors to the website from seeing weather information. The NWS originally said that it was talking to the developers of the app to resolve the issue.

A later post written by the NWS, notes that the agency had hired Akamai to add DDoS filters to block the offending traffic. The filters allowed service on the website to return to normal. During the outage, local weather offices has to turn to social media to disseminate updates.

One disturbing part of the whole tale, centers on the fact that requests from one Android app could bring down the NWS. The agency provides important and timely weather information that can save lives. Hopefully, those who rely on the National Weather Service won't have to worry about the site being taken offline again, by a small app.


source: Noaa.gov via Forbes

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14 Comments

1. Tritinum

Posts: 471; Member since: May 06, 2014

whatever you say ..that is actually pretty badass :|

4. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

see? the power of android? only one app can take down full website single handedly... thats the power of android... ios can ever do that?? :p :p

7. naittosan

Posts: 243; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

Is there something in this that makes you think this gives Android a good name.

8. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

hey! read between the lines

9. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

With power come responsibility. Android is basically a linux device on phone. That's why there all sort of geek tools available.

14. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Yes, yes it can. It came from an app request, most likely a service request attack. Any app can do this, any app, theory wise. And if enough people download it, then it surmounts that much more fold wise.

5. engineer-1701d unregistered

its funny how they sais could save lives and timely weather reports they are wrong 75% of the time they say its sunny and hot and its raining outside. truly disheartening that 1 app could take out a government weather agency.

2. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Why is it any surprise that traffic brings down a government website? Since when does the government has any incentive to provide a quality service when it's often the monopolistic provider of services, commonly required by law, not exactly by spontaneous demand? For instance, recently the government told me that I had to get my driving record. During business hours, the state website would timeout repeatedly in the middle of the processing, if not failing with some misguiding error message. Frustrated, I hoped that in the evening things would improve and I could finally get what I was told to get by the same government or else, website timing out be damned.

3. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

Too many packets = No Bueno.

11. ibap

Posts: 871; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

OK, now you're mixing federal and state services. And when did any agency ever get the funding it said it needed for a fully supported website? There's a problem when they have to settle for good enough, when they know the demand will require great.

13. JunkCreek

Posts: 407; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

they got BBM first launch on Android experience. More people using android = more traffic will flow = more bandwitdh needed.

6. engineer-1701d unregistered

hyper packets yeah commence the weather packets :P

10. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

Wonder what app it was that "took down" the NWS site?

12. Paximos

Posts: 283; Member since: Jul 26, 2012

Damn Chinese Developers!!!

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