The cyberattack that took down the internet turned ordinary devices into weapons
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The cyberattack that took down the internet turned ordinary devices into weapons

A cyberattack that took down the internet around the world on Friday was carried out, in part, by unsuspicious devices associated to the internet.

Security firm Flashpoint said it believes that digital video recorders and webcams in people’s homes were taken over by malware and then, without the owners’ knowledge, it was used to help perform the massive cyberattack.

Hundreds of thousands of devices appear to have have been infested with the malware.

It was a distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attack. Using the malware, hackers were able to flood a website with so much traffic that it impaired normal service.

The DDoS attack overwhelmed the servers of New Hampshire-based Company Dyn and came in three waves Friday starting around 7 a.m. ET. Dyn says the attack has ended.

Dyn is part of the backbone of the internet. It works as a distributor to make sure that when you type in a URL like twitter.com, you get to the correct site.

As a result, throughout the day Friday many users were unable to connect to popular platforms like Twitter, Netflix, Spotify and the Financial Times in various parts of the U.S. and Europe, mainly the American northeast and the U.K.

Software IT company Dynatrace monitors more than 150 websites, and found that 77 were jammed on Friday. The disruption may have lost companies up to $110 million in revenue and sales, according to CEO John van Siclen.

The FBI said Friday that it was “investigating all potential causes of the attack,” and the U.K.’s Home Office said it was looking into the matter.

So far, no one has pointed a finger at a particular group or nation. “It’s too soon to know,” Doug Madory, a director at Dyn stated.

After the cyberattack against Krebs, the source code used to carry out the strike was released online. Since then other hackers have been using the malware to carry out their own attacks.

While DDoS attacks are nothing new, research shows they’re gradually becoming classy and frequent.

Friday’s cyber-blitz demonstrated just how vulnerable the internet’s infrastructure is to these types of attacks.

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