Massive DDoS attack today. Were you effected? If you used Netflix, Twitter, getHub, Amazon, Spotify, Reddit, Tumbler, PlayStation Network or many others chances are you might have noticed.
Just what is a DDoS attack you may ask. It stands for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and is generally a technique for denying service to a resource by overwhelming it with requests. Imagine you have a phone (you know you do) and you’re waiting for a call from someone. But they can’t get through because you are getting dozens of calls. Chances are much harder for the one you want to get though. It’s sort of like that, but in this case imagine thousands or even millions of requests all at the same time.
But how do they get the thousands or millions of requests you might ask? There are computers connected to the internet that are infected with Malware. Many don’t even realize it. Could be yours is one. This Malware can sit dormant on a machine unnoticed until it receives the instruction to reach out to a site on the internet and just do something simple, like load a page, or download a file or even just lookup a domain name. These individual requests are nothing unusual and happen all the time. It’s when they are coordinated by an attacker that the trouble begins. Imagine one drop of water. This is easy enough if you are in Syracuse (where I am) as its rained all day. So one drop, no problem, a quick storm? Inconvenient maybe. But a downpour that lasts hours and you have flooded basements, closed streets, etc. You get the picture.
So what can you do? For starters, use a good antivirus like WebRoot. If you don’t have one ask us. Don’t think that just because you have Linux or a Mac that you are immune. You’re not. Every system should have a reliable AV program on it and scanned regularly. AV (AntiVirus) is not enough though. You NEED to do your updates. Not just Windows either, Programs like Adobe, Silverlight, Java, etc. ALL have vulnerabilities that can be used on your computer when you are just innocently surfing the web. YES, Macs too. Less likely but it does happen. So, avoid questionable links, sites and downloading ANY program without knowing its from a trusted source. Not sure? Use a tool like URL/IP Lookup tool here.
If it’s suspicious, skip it.
It is believed that many of the bots in the current attacks are IoT devices (Internet of Things) and could be anything from a DVR, to a router or even a security camera, etc. Many of these are considered low risk and are seldom updated by users.
You can read more about todays DDoS attacks below:
Network World: Extensive DDoS attack..
PCGamer.com: Massive DDoS attack..
BreakingNews.com: DDoS Attacks Oct, 21st