You might have noticed on Friday, October 21, that some of your favorite websites weren’t working, Netflix, Twitter, Amazon, Spotify and others were all experiencing outages. As you no doubt have heard the cause were DDoS attacks on DYN, a domain service provider. At around 7:00am EST hackers unleashed one of the largest DDoS attacks which shut down many websites, they weren’t hit just once, but three times in the same day.
So what exactly is a DDoS attack? DDoS stands for a ‘Distributed Denial of Service' (DDoS). That basic concept is to overwhelm a website by making requests (traffic) from multiple sources. Hackers, build networks of infected computers, these infected computers are called ‘botnets’ and work on the hackers behalf and enables them to increase the severity of their attack.
Perhaps the scariest thing about such an attack is there is very little you can do to protect yourself. And as made evident by the recent attack on DYN, they have the capacity (likely hundreds of thousand of infected computers working together), to shut down large parts of the internet. Once of the reasons this particular attack was so effective was because of who it targets. Normally, hackers target specific organization like banks or government websites. Because they targeted DYN which provides domain names for many companies, they were targeting part of the internet infrastructure which allowed them to take down multiple websites at once.
To see a map of DDoS attacked visit: http://www.digitalattackmap.com/#anim=1&color=0&country=ALL&list=2&time=17099&view=map