After two major, allegedly, cyber attacks targeted a little known internet infrastructure company, Dyn, earlier today disrupting access to dozens of websites on Friday, and preventing some users from accessing PayPal, Twitter and Spotify, moments ago the DNS service provider said that a third attack has been launched. From Reuters:
The source of the “millions” of malware attacks are so-called “smart” products, or everyday products around the house which are hooked up to the internet. So, while it may be difficult to pin this particular attack on Putin – though we are sure the “17 agencies” will try – one can blame their “smart” toaster, “smart” lightbulb” and “smart” toilet for making Twitter inaccessible.
As Reuters also adds, it was not immediately clear who was responsible for the outages that began in the Eastern United States, and then spread to other parts of the country and Western Europe.
U.S. officials told Reuters that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were investigating. The disruptions come at a time of unprecedented fears about the cyber threat in the United States, where hackers have breached political organizations and election agencies.
Here is the punchline: Homeland Security last week issued a warning about a powerful new approach for blocking access to websites – hackers infecting routers, printers, smart TVs and other connected devices with malware that turns them into “bot” armies that overwhelm website servers in distributed denial of service attacks.
So…. your smart doorbell may just be hiding the internet terminator that will collapse the internet and prevent you from accessing your electronic cash in the bank.
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Dyn said it had resolved one morning attack, which disrupted operations for about two hours, but disclosed a second a few hours later that was causing further disruptions. Dyn initially said the outage was limited to the Eastern United States. Amazon later reported that the issue was affecting users in Western Europe. Twitter and some news sites could not be accessed by some users in London late on Friday evening.
PayPal Holdings Inc said that the outage prevented some customers in “certain regions” from making payments. But fear not: the money in your bank is “safe.”
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Dyn is a Manchester, New Hampshire-based provider of services for managing domain name servers (DNS), which act as switchboards connecting internet traffic. Requests to access sites are transmitted through DNS servers that direct them to computers that host websites. Its customers include some of the world’s biggest corporations and Internet firms, such as Pfizer, Visa, Netflix and Twitter, SoundCloud and BT.
And the best part: “Dyn said it was still trying to determine how the attack led to the outage but that its first priority was restoring service.”
In other words, the company has no idea how the hackers hacked not just it, but the entire internet.