Cyber attacks knock major sites offline
CYBER ATTACKS TARGETING a little known internet infrastructure company, Dyn, disrupted access to dozens of websites on Friday, preventing some users from accessing PayPal, Twitter and Spotify.
Dyn, whose customers include some of the world’s most widely visited websites, said it did not know who was responsible for the outages that began in the Eastern United States, and then spread to other parts of the country and overseas.
The outages were intermittent, making it difficult to identify all the victims. But technology news site Gizmodo named some five dozen sites that were affected by the attack. They included CNN, HBO Now, Mashable, the New York Times, People.com, the Wall Street Journal and Yelp.
Dyn said attacks were coming from tens of millions of Internet-connected devices — such as web cams, printers and thermostats — infected with malicious software that turns them into “bots” that can be used in massive distributed denial of service attacks.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security last week issued a warning about this powerful new approach, noting it was concerned about the potential for new attacks after code for malware used in these attacks was published on the internet.
Dyn said late on Friday that it was fighting the third major wave of attacks, which were being launched from locations spread across the globe, making them harder to fight.
“The complexity of the attacks is what’s making it very challenging for us,” said Dyn’s chief strategy officer, Kyle York.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation said they 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.
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. (Reuters)