'Major network problem' crashes BBC websites


All BBC websites went offline last night for around an hour, sparking rumours the broadcaster had been targeted by a web attack.

The BBC moved to quash the speculation, however, putting the outage down to a "major network problem."

"It's not often we get a message from the BBC's technical support teams saying, Total outage of all BBC websites,'" said Steve Herrmann, BBC News website editor, in a blog.

"We'd like to apologise to everyone who couldn't get onto the BBC News website during that time."

The sites went down just before midnight, affecting all services including BBC iPlayer, leading many to post conspiracy theories across social networks such as Twitter.

Some blamed BBC cutbacks for the outage, whilst others suggested hackers had taken down the sites.

In January, the BBC announced its online budget was to be cut by 25 per cent, with up to 360 jobs set to go.

Siemens, which manages the broadcaster's IT support, revealed in an email to staff engineers it fixed the problem by remotely powering down equipment at an internet connection at Telehouse Docklands.

Engineers looked into issues at sites in Maidenhead, Berkshire and London Docklands, the BBC reported.

Whilst the BBC was not attacked by cyber criminals this time around, the broadcaster had been hit before.

Last month, Websense discovered BBC music websites were compromised after hackers injected them with malicious iframes.

Sections of both BBC 6 Music and BBC 1Xtra websites were found to be linking to a malicious site spewing out malware.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.