“Internet of Things” Hack Fueled This Week’s Outages

If you tried to access Twitter, Spotify, or the New York Times website last Friday, you may have had a little trouble. These sites are all served by the same domain name service provider, Dyn, which was hit by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that morning. If you’ve been following the Janus Networks blog, we warned this might happen in October 4th’s post, Internet Slow? Might Be a Hacked Camera.

DDoS attacks flood websites with junk requests, causing traffic and havoc for legitimate users trying to access the site. As awful as they sound, they’re actually pretty common, but Friday’s attack was a bit different. Rather than just working off a network of infected personal computers, Friday’s attack used Internet of Things (IoT) devices as well.

The IoT consists of networked devices that use the internet—think webcams and DVRs. These devices aren’t always the most secure, which allowed this hack to become the biggest IoT attack of its kind.

Now is a good time to talk to your IT professional about the IoT devices your office uses every day. They’ll have tips for ensuring your workplace devices don’t contribute to a mass outage.

By Prasana William

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