Cyber Attacks hit Netflix and Twitter

Cyber Attacks hit Netflix and Twitter

Cyber attacks made a widespread impact last Friday after Netflix, Twitter and other well-known websites were hit, with assistance from once crude devices given the smart treatment from internet connections.

The stream of attacks rendered useless a vital piece of web-based infrastructure, hindering or completely preventing access to internet platforms.

Eric O’Neill, a strategist from security software firm Carbon Black, said:

“When I see something like this, I have to think state actor.”

O’Neill, who is also an ex “spy hunter” on the FBI’s counter-intelligence unit, added:

“This is not some hacker sitting in his basement typing away on a keyboard.”

The cyber attack was believed to be a new twist on the common distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) hack, which involves millions of electronic devices from the Internet of Things (IoT) coming together in a mass attack.

Masses of computers with dangerous code infections are often employed in a DDos attack designed to overwhelm its targets with concurrent online requests.

Hacking software known as Mirai controls IoT devices evidently had a role to play in the attack.

Dale Drew, Level 3 Communications’ head security officer, said in an online video:

“We are seeing attacks coming from a number of different locations.

“We are seeing attacks coming from an internet-of-things botnet that we identified called Mirai also involved in this attack.”

Cyber attacks seemingly having little impact could be toying with devices to modify their methods to use on premium targets as transportation systems or utilities, according to a number of computer defence specialists, including O’Neill.

It is possible that the attack was a message delivered by a foreign power, say cyber security analysts.

The attacks caught the eyes of head US security agencies, the Department of Homeland Security among them.

A spokeswoman said:

“DHS and the FBI are aware and are investigating all potential causes (of the outages).”

Thanks to the outages, online users were unable to play online games, watch videos, shop or post messages at certain periods throughout the day.

Internet traffic management company Dynamic Network Services Inc. said that it had been subject to a DDoS attack on the East Coast of the US.

The first hit was dealt with within two hours. However, the firm, often referred to as Dyn, experienced another DDoS wave.

The DDos attacks flooded websites with high volumes of traffic beyond their handling capabilities, which took them offline or resulted in difficulties with access.

The reality of such high-profile websites coming under attack should serve as a warning to businesses everywhere that no firm is safe from the threat of cyber crime. The only step that business owners can take is to provide a layer of protection against threats to minimise the chance of an attack occurring, or at least put themselves in a position to minimise damage. Creating cyber security jobs is the most logical way to achieve that. The quicker businesses see this particular reality, the better for both them and the customers whose data they hold.

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