Hackers on Thursday brought down the BBC’s entire network of websites and its iPlayer streaming service.
Thousands of users complained on social media after being met with an error message around 8.30am saying there had been an “internal error”.
Problems continued for around an hour before the service was fully restored.
It later emerged the corporation had suffered a DDoS – a distributed denial of service – attack.
A BBC Technology journalist later posted an article on their website saying a “large web attack” had “knocked” their websites offline.
Sources within the BBC said the sites were down “thanks to what is knows as a ‘distributed denial of service’ attack”.
A National Crime Agency spokesperson said: “DDOS is a blunt form of attack which takes volume and not skill. It’s a very basic attack tool. One analogy is too many people trying to get through a revolving door at the same time so that the door gets stuck.”
An official BBC spokesperson said the corporation “are not discussing the causes” of the shutdown “or going into any further detail”.
The BBC’s main website is the 89th biggest in the world, according to web analytics firm Alexa, and is the seventh-ranked site in the UK.
Meanwhile, as BBC technicians work to get their website back up and running, social media reaction was swift. Many urged the BBC to get the site back up quickly and lamented how long it was taking to fix the technical trouble. Twitter users had a lot of fun as #BBCDown began trending.
Helios Web Design @Helios_W_D
@BBCiPlayer I’m getting 500 internal errors on your site. You sorting it out or has the New Years Party started early?
@Helios_W_D Hi, we’re experiencing some technical issues at the moment which we hope to resolve soon. Sorry for the inconvenience
BBC website has crashed. Currencies are tumbling, oil prices have tumbled and websites are tumbling. It’s indeed global #bbcdown