“Denial of service” hacking attacks Friday affected some major national websites. The first attack was early in the morning – around 3 a.m. Alaska time. The second was around 8 a.m. Alaska time.

Both attacks focused on East Coast servers, but Ketchikan Public Utilities Sales and Marketing Division Manager Kim Simpson said some local internet users may have noticed that certain popular sites were inaccessible.

She described what a “denial of service” attack means.

“What that does is it makes it so that it’s not available for a regular user to go in and access it,News Tile so it appears that you can’t get to the website or it’s not working,” she said.

You wouldn’t necessarily get a notice; the browser would just spin and never connect.

Simpson said the affected websites include Twitter, Netflix, Spotify and Paypal.

“Paypal is associated with Ebay or some other account, but it also operates as a banking system behind the scenes for a lot of different merchants, so people may have trouble making payments on a website, not knowing that it’s actually done through Paypal,” she said.

The attacks also can affect email systems if the servers for the systems are hit.

Simpson said the attacks appear to be resolved, but it could happen again. She says the source of the attack has not yet been identified, although North Korea has been ruled out.

“And hopefully they’ll figure out who’s doing did it and be able to stop it,” she said. “I know the government is actually now involved in trying to trace who did the attacks.”

Simpson said the attacks are not virus-related, so internet users don’t have to worry about their own computers becoming affected.