Last Friday morning, October 21, 2016, there was a massive distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack against large parts of the internet. Many websites were unreachable for over two hours Even the website of many large companies like Twitter, Spotify and Netflix. This was a massive, well coordinated attack that had been a long time in the making. Was your website also effected?
What happened? Why was my website down?
Dyn, a company that manages part of the domain name system (DNS), was attacked by an unprecedented level of attacks. DNS is what allows users to type www.Google.com rather than having to remember the IP address of the website. Dym was hit with lots of false web traffic. Think of it that you are having a conversation with someone and then suddenly someone turns on music from 200 radio stations all around you and person you are talking to. The conversation will be drowned out in all of the noise. That’s what happened here. Dyn was no longer able to answer legitimate requests for data and thus, the website of many companies were knocked offline.
What is a DDOS attack?
A distributed denial of service attack (DDOS) is when a large network of devices that are scattered all over the web (distributed) send out random noise data to a specific target. The target is no longer able to filter out the noise and eventually gives in to the attacks. In the case of this most recent attack, the network used was composed of over 10 million infected devices that the cyber criminals used to attack Dyn. These devices were mostly Chinese made digital video recorders (DVRs) for security systems, web cams, and smart phones. Dyn was eventually able to filter out the noise and get back online.
How can I protect my website?
Unfortunately there really is nothing you can do for these attacks. The hosting service must handle the attacks. The best advice is to make sure your website is hosted at a quality company that is large enough to fend off these types of attacks. Those $5.99 per month hosting companies won’t have the resources to handle attacks of this volume. Choose a large, established hosting company for your company’s website.
If you need help with your website or if your company needs a website, give us a call at 770-506-4383 and we would be happy to help you.