The neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer briefly returned to the web today, using a new URL and a string of new hosts to dodge the bans that took it off the internet last week. The site reappeared this morning at the address Punishedstormer.com, apparently using Dreamhost as both a host and DNS provider.
Shortly after the new site became public, Anonymous groups began a denial-of-service attack against it, targeting the Dreamhost DNS infrastructure that makes the site accessible to the rest of the web. The result was nearly two hours of intermittent downtime for the countless sites using Dreamhost’s DNS infrastructure. Dreamhost announced the problems had been just before 3:30pm ET.
Oh crap. All my sites are on Dreamhost and they’ve apparently been taken down by hackers for standing up for freedom and democracy.
— Brook Ellingwood (@belling) August 24, 2017
Punishedstormer is currently down, although it’s unclear whether it’s the result of action at Dreamhost or another provider. The URL appears to have been registered by GoDaddy, which dropped the neo-Nazi site as a client last week. Dreamhost also hosts the official sites for hate groups like the National Vanguard and the Northwest Front, which Politico called “America’s worst racists” in a 2015 article.
Web providers came under significant pressure to drop the Daily Stormer last week, after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville resulted in the killing of a counter-protestor named Heather Heyer. But today marks the first time that activism has resulted in direct action against web infrastructure, clogging traffic for many sites with no direct connection to the Daily Stormer and its ideology.