Cyber Attacks Online

Cyber attacks disrupt PayPal, Twitter, and other sites

On October 21st, Hackers used common devices such as digital recorders and webcams to attack well-known websites like PayPal, Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, and other customers of Dyn, which is one of the companies that are responsible for hosting Domain Name System (DNS). After the attack, it suffered from a “distributed denial of service”(DDoS) attack. Because of this many people lost access to specific websites or even to the Internet. Many users reported that they could not access internet destinations like CNN, Mashable, Yelp, the Wall Street Journal and some businesses hosted by Inc.

The attackers hijacked hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices that were earlier infected with a code, which allowed them to flood the victim’s website with a huge amount of junk that it is unable to cope with. This caused outages that began in Eastern US and later spread throughout the country and Europe.

According to Dyn, the attacks began around 4 am PST. The attack was not directly targeting Twitter, Paypal, or other sites, but because Dyn serves around 30 Fortune 500 companies, these vital companies were also affected. The issue was solved in about 4 hours, however; the assault began again in 2 hours. Dyn said this was one of the largest attacks ever seen.

New York Times, which was also affected by the attack talked o Dyn’s chief strategist, who claimed that this was not an everyday DDoS attack as it was very complicated.  

Some web security experts claim that the attack was aiming to test the core defensive capabilities of the companies that provide crucial internet services. Moreover, they suggest that a nation-state would be a suspect, as this kind of sophisticated attack could not be executed by a minor.

These kinds of attacks cannot cause permanent damage, but they can temporarily affect communications, which can in its turn, have economic effects, not speaking of the sense of chaos that it can spread.