BBC websites and iPlayer were downed by massive DDoS fire

Auntie Beeb found itself under attack first thing this morning

You may have noticed that the BBC's websites (and indeed the iPlayer service) were out of action first thing this morning – well, it turns out that this major outage was due to a cyber-attack.

Problems began at around 07:00 GMT this morning, and BBC.co.uk was down with an 'Error 500 - Internal Error' when we visited the site at just before 10:00. (Not everyone was having these issues though – another techradar staff member found he could visit the site just fine).

At first, the BBC Press Office tweeted that this was due to a technical problem, but sources within the Beeb have now admitted it was DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) fire which took its websites out (though an official confirmation of this has yet to be issued – we guess the investigation is still underway).

The downtime lasted until around midday, when the Beeb's Press Office tweeted: "The BBC website is now back up and operating normally. We apologise for any inconvenience you may have experienced."

Some Twitter users still complained that while the BBC websites seemed fine, iPlayer still wasn't functioning properly even after this announcement that everything was back to normal.

The next obvious question is who organised this major volley of DDoS? Earlier this year, Anonymous threatened to pelt Auntie Beeb with DDoS over the whole Jeremy Clarkson sacking affair.