Massive Cyber Attack Downs Twitter, Amazon and Other Major Sites (Updated)

Domain hosting company Dyn reported two major attacks on its servers on Friday

Last Updated: October 21, 2016 @ 4:42 PM

UPDATE 2:13 p.m. PT: CNBC is reporting that a third cyber attack is underway, “coming from tens of millions of IP addresses at the same time,” domain registrar Dyn, which is the target of the attacks, told the business network.

Dyn further explained that the attacks are coming in part from unconventional networked devices that are part of the “internet of things,” which could include DVRs, web-connected refrigerators, thermostats — just about anything.

The devices, Dyn says, have been infected by recently deployed malware.

Previously…

Much of the internet went down on Friday, following two attacks on the servers of a major domain host. Twitter, Spotify, Amazon and CNN were reportedly among the sites affected.

The company which suffered the hacks, Dyn, first reported around 4 a.m. PT that it had “began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure.” The initial attack primarily affected internet users on the east coast, and the company claimed it had been resolved just over two hours later.

Around 9 a.m. PT, the company reported that it was “monitoring and mitigating” another DDoS attack, which affected services for users on both coasts.

According to NBC News, The White House said the Department of Homeland Security was “looking into” the situation but did not know who was behind the attack. An unnamed U.S. intelligence source also told NBC that they had ruled out North Korea as a suspect.

“This was not your everyday DDos attack,” Kyle York, Dyn’s chief strategist, told the New York Times. “The nature and source of the attack is still under investigation. We will be updating our users as soon as we learn more.”

A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is a common method for hackers, essentially bringing down a server by overwhelming it with numerous phony requests.

Friday’s target was Dyn’s Managed DNS infrastructure, which points internet users to the sites to which they’re trying to navigate. In addition to the sites mentioned above, Dyn also manages sites including Etsy, Github, Grubhub, HBO Now, Imgur, Paypal, Playstation Network, Reddit and Squarespace.

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