On August 29, an accidental distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack caused a shutdown to the entire National Weather Service NIDS messaging system, temporarily preventing the distribution of critical weather news bulletins to the country. The situation involved an Android app that consumes public APIs hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Akamai, the cloud computing provider, was engaged to block the application and eventually, the messaging system was restored to full health.
Though the NOAA responded to the situation swiftly, the accidental attack was evidence that suitable DDoS detection and prevention systems were not in place at the time. Alan Zeichick, editor for SD Times, believes that if the attack had been malicious, the attacker could have responded to Akamai's efforts to block the app in real time, causing a severely crippled server and lengthy rehabilitation process. Hindsight from this situation teaches API providers that in addition to setting standard usage limitations, DDoS detection should be implemented into APIs themselves in order to halt malicious attacks within the network and prevent attacks from ever reaching the main server.