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Hackers brought down the BBC's websites for several hours in a large-scale hacking attack, the British public broadcaster reported.

""Sources within the BBC said the sites were offline thanks to what is known as a 'distributed denial of service' (DDOS) attack,"" the BBC reported.

DDOS attacks are used to slow down or disable a network by flooding it with communication requests.

Users trying to access BBC.com and related websites could only see an error message saying: ""The site could be temporarily unavailable or too busy.""

The BBC press office blamed the problem on a technical issue. However, despite continued problems with access to the sites, they reported later in an update saying: ""The BBC website is now back up and operating normally.""

It's worth mentioning that the BBC's international website, BBC.com and its news app reached a readership of more than 101 million unique browsers a month earlier this year.