Cyberattacks Take Down Netflix, Twitter & Others

     (CN) – At least two waves of major cyberattacks took down dozens of popular websites Friday, including Twitter, Netflix and Reddit.
     The attacks also affected Tumblr, Spotify and Amazon and appear to have targeted domain name servers (DNS) provider Dyn. The company confirmed the attacks, which were first reported on Hacker News.
     “At this time, the advanced service monitoring issue has been resolved. Our engineers are still investigating and mitigating the attacks on our infrastructure,” Dyn said in an update posted on its site.
     Internet users in the United States are the most impacted by the cyberattacks, according to DownDetector’s outage map.
     White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the Department of Homeland Security was aware of the attacks, but that “at this point I don’t have any information about who may be responsible for this malicious activity.”
     While it’s still unclear whether the attacks are focused on Dyn specifically or the companies that use its services, the attacks resemble other large-scale cyberattacks that have occurred over the past few weeks, according to Carl Herberger, vice president of security at the security company Radware.
     At about 7:10 a.m. EDT, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack targeted Dyn, which led to websites becoming fully or partially inaccessible. Twitter remains down for many users.
     A DDoS attack floods a particular site or service with fake traffic in an attempt to overwhelm the system and take it offline. DNS providers serve as a link between the website URLs you type into your browser and the corresponding IP addresses — a series of numbers that identify computers using the protocol to communicate over a network. By attacking Dyn, it’s possible to overwhelm that directory and cause loading problems and outages across a large portion of the internet.
     Computer code that allows even amateur users to create robot networks, called “bot nets,” to attack websites was released by hackers earlier this month. It’s unclear if that release corresponds to Friday’s attacks.

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