East Coast Cyberattack News & Update: Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, Paypal, Vox; Spotify Disabled For Several Hours; Hacked?

By V Doctor , Updated Oct 23, 2016 07:45 AM EDT

On Oct. 21, 2016, the East Coast was the target of a major cyberattack, which caused trouble for several popular websites like Netflix, Twitter, Spotify, Vox, Airbnb, Reddit, Paypal, Github and Etsy, among others. The websites were subjected to distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyberattacks, which attempt to flood a website with too much traffic to impair regular service.

CNN revealed that taking out one of the DNS service providers can result to the impairment of several popular online services. Dyn, an internet services company, had two DDoS cyberattacks.

The DDoS cyberattack reportedly began at 7 a.m. on Friday and was resolved after a few hours. Issues remained by Friday afternoon, however, with Dyn checking on a third attack. The cyberattack immediately grabbed the attention of the FBI, which stated that it was investigating all potential causes.

At first, the outages mainly affected websites on the East Coast. By midday, some parts of Europe also experienced outages. The nature of the cyberattack targeting the DNS is quite rare, since DDoS attacks typically focus on individual websites.

In the meantime, no one has claimed responsibility for the cyberattack. The United States is reportedly looking at every possible scenario. Dyn is uncertain whether the cyberattack was directed at any customer in particular.

USA Today stated that it took 11 hours for Dyn to restore its service after the massive cyberattack. Security experts were concerned that the hackers relied on the easy-to-use program, Mirai, to launch the DDoS attacks.

Even unskilled hackers can initiate DDoS attacks using Mirai. The software generally uses malware from phishing emails to infect a home network or computer and spreads to take over various devices. As a result, a robot network or botnet is created to attack computer systems by sending several messages.

The cyberattack had Dyn receive tens of millions of messages on a worldwide scale from harmless but internet-connected devices. The widespread attack is challenging because it is difficult to distinguish between botnet and legitimate traffic.

After much effort, the major issue was resolved and the popular websites are back to normal. More updates and details on the East Coast cyberattack are expected soon.

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