New weapons used to hack Twitter, Spotify

Waves of cyberattacks disrupt services for many East Coast US Internet users

New weapons used to hack Twitter, Spotify

World Bulletin / News Desk

Successive waves of cyberattacks on Friday caused massive outages across the United States at a diverse array of popular websites and services

Users in Asia and Europe also experienced service disruptions, according to reports from outage investigator Downdetector.

The outages appear to have been caused by hackers targeting Internet performance management company Dyn, which provides core web services for the affected websites. Dyn confirmed that it was the victim of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

A DDoS attack occurs when a service is flooded with large amounts of falsified web traffic in order to overwhelm servers and cause outages. These types of attacks are popular with hackers attempting to make a political statement as well as pranksters desiring to annoy companies and users.

Multiple times on Friday, Dyn reported that engineers had resolved the issues only to see the service knocked out again. The outages, which started at 7:10 a.m. EST (1110GMT), mostly affected Internet users on the East Coast.

“Our engineers are continuing to investigate and mitigate several attacks aimed against the Dyn Managed DNS [Domain Name System] infrastructure,” Dyn said in a statement.

A DNS service is essential for websites to work since it translates a web address a user enters into a browser, like, into a complex series of numbers and characters for computer servers to understand.

While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack that affected sites such as Twitter, Spotify, Reddit and the New York Times, cyber-security analyst Brian Krebs explained in a post Friday that the attack may be a way for hackers, emboldened by a new scale of DDoS hacking technology, to extort money from firms like Dyn.  

“DDoS mitigation firms simply did not count on the size of these attacks increasing so quickly overnight, and are now scrambling to secure far greater capacity to handle much larger attacks concurrently,” Krebs said. 

Last Mod: 22 Ekim 2016, 07:47
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