By Declan Dunn, TechViews.org …..
Supporters of WikiLeaks claim responsibility for the massive cyberattack Friday which took down numerous major websites, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Twitter, Amazon, Netflix and PayPal, Reddit, Etsy, Tumblr, Business Insider, Github, Spotify, Comcast, and some 6 percent of America’s Fortune 500 companies.
The hacktivist groups Anonymous and New World Hackers confirmed they orchestrated the attack. They claimed retaliation for the President Obama’s pressure on the Ecuadorian government to take away internet access from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange following his site’s ongoing release of emails hacked from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
It is widely viewed that the emails and documents released by Wikileaks were damaging to the Clinton campaign and President Obama.
Dyn, a Manchester, New Hampshire-based domain registry, said at least three waves of distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), hit its data centers and were overwhelmed with junk data traffic.
Technicians at Dyn first became aware of the attacks around 7:00am local time. Services on the U.S. East Coast were restored shortly thereafter before a second wave of attacks came around 10:20am The second attack broadened its net, affecting the U.S. West Coast and Europe as the more amorphous Anonymous collective piled on in the third wave on Friday afternoon.
The complexity of the attacks is what is making it so difficult for us,” said Kyle York, the company’s chief strategy officer. “What they are actually doing is moving around the world with each attack.” He said an East Coast data center was hit first, attacks across the country and then globally hit shortly thereafter.
Members of the shadowy and mostly independent groups that calls themselves New World Hackers and Anonymous claimed responsibility for the attack via Twitter. They said they organized networks of connected “zombie” computers called botnets that threw a staggering 1.2 terabits per second of data at the Dyn-managed servers, coming from tens of millions IP addresses at the same time.
Lance Cottrell, chief scientist for the cybersecurity firm Ntrepid, said while DDoS attacks have been used for years, they’ve become very popular in recent months, thanks to the proliferation of “internet of things” devices ranging from connected thermostats to security cameras and smart TVs, even smart phones. Many of those devices feature little in the way of security, making them easy targets for hackers.
Access to those devices came from home users failing to password-protect their devices, allowing the sophisticated botnets to use their IP locations to forward multiple junk connection attempts to the Dyn servers.
This created more net traffic than their servers could handle. This is the root concept of Denial of Service attacks.
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