Several popular websites have been largely inaccessible in parts of America after a cyber-attack on an internet switchboard company.
The attacks affected access to Twitter, Paypal, Spotify and other customers of the Dyn, an infrastructure company. Dyn directs users to different websites and routes traffic from server to server in a complex way. It processes large volumes of internet traffic.
The attackers used hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices that had previously been infected with a malicious code that allowed them to cause outages.
Described as distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), it used affected computers to fire requests at the servers of Dyn simultaneously and essentially overwhelm it.
The attack reportedly came in waves, it started in East Coast of the US before spreading to other parts and even Europe.
Dyn’s chief strategy officer, Kyle York, told Reuters that at least some of the malicious traffic was coming from connected devices, including webcams and digital video recorders that had been infected with control software named Mirai.
“The complexity of the attacks is what’s making it very challenging for us,”
Cyber-Attack Ahead Of The US Elections
These cyber-attack come at a time of unprecedented fears about cyber threats in the United States, where hackers have breached political organisations and election agencies.
The US government has formally accused Russia of conducting cyber-attacks against US political organisations during the campaign for the November 8 presidential election, including hacking of Democratic Party emails.
WikiLeaks chairman John Podesta, implied in a tweet that its supporters may be behind the attack and asked them to “stop taking down the US internet”.
The whistle blowing organisation has been publishing hacked emails that allegedly belong to Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign.