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Oracle buys Internet traffic specialist Dyn after hacking attack

Dyn, based in Manchester, N.H., has been bought for an undisclosed price by Oracle.
Dyn, based in Manchester, N.H., has been bought for an undisclosed price by Oracle.(Jim Cole/AP)

Oracle Corp. has purchased Dyn Inc., the New Hampshire tech company that was thrust into the spotlight when its Internet services were crippled by hackers, the companies revealed Monday.

Oracle did not disclose how much it paid for Dyn, which employs about 350 at its headquarters in Manchester, N.H., and declined further comment on the deal.

In a prepared statement, Dyn chief strategy officer Kyle York said “there is a commitment to keep the Manchester office open, running, and growing. We also plan to continue supporting our local community, which has been so good to Dyn over the years.”

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Dyn’s best-known software acts like a phone book for websites, linking readable Internet addresses such as Netflix.com to the series of digits that make up a site’s numerical address on the web. The company’s products also can monitor Internet traffic problems and route users to the most efficient data center in a network.

Dan Conde, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, said the acquisition fits with Oracle’s ambitions to compete against cloud-computing providers such as Google, Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp., and IBM. Some of those companies already offer in-house services that mirror Dyn’s core traffic-routing product, which Oracle will now be able to match in sales pitches to potential customers.

“They haven’t really had a huge footprint in cloud-based services, and I think they’re realizing they need to fill that gap. It’s not just cables and switches on top of computer racks anymore,” Conde said. “They certainly could have built their own, but that can take quite a long time.”

Oracle, based in Redwood Shores, Calif., already has several offices in New England. Last year, Oracle chief executive Mark Hurd said the company employed about 3,000 in the Greater Boston region, centered around its offices in Burlington, Mass.

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Dyn was founded in 2001 by students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The private company remained relatively obscure even as it grew to become a cornerstone Internet provider for many well-known brands, including Twitter, Visa, Pfizer, Netflix, British Telecom, and The Boston Globe. Dyn previously said it expected to surpass $100 million in sales this year.

Dyn had raised nearly $90 million from investors since its founding, most in the past few years. Dyn co-founder Jeremy Hitchcock stepped down from the chief executive job one day after announcing a $50 million investment round in May. He was replaced in early October by Colin Doherty, a longtime tech industry executive.

Dyn’s low profile was erased in late October when hackers overwhelmed Dyn’s servers with data, shutting down its website-lookup services for several hours. The company later said the denial-of-service attack came from tens of millions of Internet-connected devices, such as video cameras and digital video recorders, linked to a new type of “botnet” that experts believe could be used to take down more Internet services in the future.

Security experts said the attack exposed gaps in the regulatory system for the cheap, networked electronic devices that have flooded the market in recent years.

In response to the Dyn incident and similar botnet attacks, US Senator Mark Warner,

Democrat of Virginia, asked several federal agencies whether new rules were needed to stop such attacks.


Curt Woodward can be reached at curt.woodward@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @curtwoodward.

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