Last Friday, Internet users woke up to find their favorite websites on lock down. I’m talking no tweeting, no Reddit threads asking President Obama about his love of cats, and certainly no sleepy puppy gifs. Seriously, what’s the point of morning coffee if you can’t take your phone to bathroom with you??
Here’s a breakdown of what happened on that fateful morning in 2016.
At approximately 7:00 a.m. EST, Dyn, a DNS (domain name system) host was attacked by DDoS (distributed denial of service) causing a major traffic jam connecting users to many major sites.
The way it works is the DNS is a sort of contact list for the Internet that facilitates your web search and takes you to the right page. For example, if the DNS provider for CNN is down (which it was,) getting your morning news fix might be difficult if your search isn’t even being recognized (which it wasn’t.)
The attacks came in three waves throughout the day eventually reaching the West Coast and inundating multiple sites including Imgur, PayPal and Netflix with a flurry of spam and other garbage Internet traffic.
By 6 p.m. EST all of the disrupted sites had been restored and life could begin again.
So who’s responsible?
It’s hard to say, the main source of the attacks cannot be traced which invites speculation from any and all parties involved. The weekend played host to a barrage of theories from vendettas to political affiliations to blame fan favorite, Russia. A group called New World Hackers also claimed responsibility for the attack justifying their actions as, “good” because it exposed security vulnerabilities and warned against bigger hacks to come. Their claim cannot be verified, but New World Hackers have taken credit for previous major cyber attacks including ISIS and the BBC, which at the very least raises awareness to the fragility of the infrastructure of our Internet.
One thing is for sure; these attacks seem to be happening more and more, which could be seen as a threat to not only our personal security but our global security as well.