In the early hours of Friday morning, EST, 21 October 2016, some of the largest online services were affected by outages as a result of a substantial DDoS attack. The attacks were not targeted at the companies’ sites themselves, but rather the servers of Dyn, a major DNS host.
Dyn posted the following statement shortly after the attacks: “Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21th-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.”
DNS, or Domain Name System, is a hierarchical decentralized naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. Simply put, whenever you type a URL or IP into your browser, it needs to be directed to the correct destination, send the request to the host, and receive the request and return your search results accordingly.
DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Service, is a cyber attack that temporarily interrupts services of the host on the Internet. This is achieved by flooding the targeted machine or resource with superfluous requests, which overload systems and delays, or time out, legitimate requests.
The full list of websites affected by the DDoS attacks is quite lengthy, with some big names such as Netflix and PlayStation Network.
- Amazon AWS (affects reddit, Netflix, etc.)
- Big cartel
- Business Insider
- HBO Now
- Iheart.com (iHeartRadio)
- Playstation Network
- Squarespace Customer Sites
- Starbucks rewards/gift cards
- The Verge
- Wix Customer Sites
- Zoho CRM