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GoDaddy says sites are down; hacker claims responsibility

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This story was updated at 8:10 p.m. ET. Web-hosting giant GoDaddy said Monday its customers are experiencing website outages, and a supposed member of the hacking group Anonymous has taken "credit" for the problem.

"Hey all, We're aware of the trouble people are having with our site. We're working on it," said GoDaddy on its Twitter page. The company hosts hundreds of thousands of websites, many of them smaller businesses that rely on GoDaddy.

Some GoDaddy customers said their websites were fine. After more than five hours of the outage, which began at around 10: 25 a.m. PT Monday, the company said on Twitter, "Getting closer to normal. Thanks for all your patience and understanding."

Elizabeth Driscoll, a GoDaddy spokeswoman, told NBC News late Monday that services "began to be restored for the bulk of affected customers at 2:43 pm PT," although she did not say how many were hit by the outage.

At no time, she said, "was any sensitive customer information, such as credit card data, passwords or names and addresses, compromised."

Customers can find updates from GoDaddy on Twitter, she said.

Some initially believed that hacking group Anonymous was involved with the takedown of GoDaddy's servers, but at least one person is saying he or she is behind the effort, claiming Anonymous membership, but saying it is not the group's doing.

In slightly broken English on Twitter, someone named "Anonymous Own3r" tweeted: "The attack is not coming from Anonymous coletive, the attack it's coming only from me."

Several angry responses followed: "Duuude? This attack affects not only corporations but also ppl who support your ideology. whats the rationale?" tweeted Miguel GoveaKyle Scott, who has a sports blog, said on Twitter, "So you're all about openness and freedom yet you take down thousands of independent websites that help with that cause?"

Driscoll said the company doesn't know whether a Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, attack was launched on its servers. Such a strategy has been used by hackers, including Anonymous, in recent years to bring down websites by flooding the target's servers with requests for access so that the website is unable to respond to anyone's request.

GoDaddy has been under fire before, last year when Netizens were angered by GoDaddy's initial support for a controversial online piracy bill known as the Stop Online Piracy Act. GoDaddy changed it stance to oppose the bill, which ultimately was killed.

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