US internet disrupted as key firm gets hit by cyberattack
LONDON – Reports of online disruption cropped up across the East Coast of the United States after a key internet firm was hit by a cyberattack Friday.
Manchester, New Hampshire-based Dyn, Inc. said its server infrastructure was hit by a distributed denial-of-service attack, which works by overwhelming targeted machines with junk traffic.
Dyn said in a series of statements that it first became aware of the attack around 7:00 a.m. local time and that services were restored to normal about two hours later.
The level of disruption was hard to gauge immediately, but Dyn provides internet traffic management and optimization services to some of the biggest names on the web, including Twitter, Netflix and Visa.
Sites including coder hangout Github said they briefly experienced problems, although it was not immediately clear whether the issues were linked to the cyberattack. Independent web monitoring firms such as Netherlands-based DownDetector reported a brief spike of disruptions, although here too the connection to Dyn attack wasn't made explicit.
Security experts have recently expressed concern over increasing power of denial-of-service attacks following high-profile electronic assaults against investigative journalist Brian Krebs and French internet service provider OVH .
In a widely shared essay titled "Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet," respected security expert Bruce Schneier said last month that major internet infrastructure companies were seeing a series of significant denial-of-service attacks that looked like someone was trying to probe their systems for weaknesses. Schneier said he was unable to provide details because the companies provided him the information under condition of anonymity, but he said he felt the need to warn the public that something was up.
"Someone is extensively testing the core defensive capabilities of the companies that provide critical Internet services," Schneier warned.
Raphael Satter can be reached at: http://raphaelsatter.com