'Nice Internet You've Got There... You Wouldn't Want Something To Happen To It...'

from the this-is-no-longer-theoretical dept

Last month, we wrote about Bruce Schneier's warning that certain unknown parties were carefully testing ways to take down the internet. They were doing carefully configured DDoS attacks, testing core internet infrastructure, focusing on key DNS servers. And, of course, we've also been talking about the rise of truly massive DDoS attacks, thanks to poorly secured Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and ancient, unpatched bugs.

That all came to a head this morning when large chunks of the internet went down for about two hours, thanks to a massive DDoS attack targeting managed DNS provider Dyn. Most of the down sites are back (I'm still having trouble reaching Twitter), but it was pretty widespread, and lots of big name sites all went down. Just check out this screenshot from Downdetector showing the outages on a bunch of sites:
You'll see not all of them have downtime (and the big ISPs, as always, show lots of complaints about downtimes), but a ton of those sites show a giant spike in downtime for a few hours.

So, once again, we'd like to point out that this is as problem that the internet community needs to start solving now. There's been a theoretical threat for a while, but it's no longer so theoretical. Yes, some people point out that this is a difficult thing to deal with. If you're pointing people to websites, even if we were to move to a more distributed system, there are almost always some kinds of chokepoints, and those with malicious intent will always, eventually, target those chokepoints. But there has to be a better way -- because if there isn't, this kind of thing is going to become a lot worse.

Filed Under: attack, ddos, dns, internet, vulnerabilities
Companies: dyn


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  1. icon
    Ninja (profile), 21 Oct 2016 @ 10:54am

    Telling the infra-structure players alone must 'do something' is naive at best. The real culprits here are a mix of IoT and other hardware manufacturers that couldn't care less about security. They need to be hurt for their lack of care where it hurts the most: their pockets.

    So yes, the infra-structure portion can help mitigate the problem but unless we start taking security very seriously it won't matter.

    Of course, one must not forget the perpetrators should also be severely punished and if it's a state actor maybe even cut it entirely from the network to preserve its health.

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