The Malware Behind the Massive DDoS Attack

Tweet. Podcasts. Music. Stream. Shop. Eat.

If you tried doing or accessing sites pertaining to these categories late last week, you probably ran into a little trouble.

A proliferated DDoS attack stemming partly from malware shut down major players in industries across the country. The list of companies affected includes:

  • Twitter
  • Soundcloud
  • Spotify
  • Netflix
  • Etsy
  • Amazon
  • Reddit
  • Shopify
  • CNN
  • Grubhub

And that’s just to name a few.

Dyn, Inc., an internet service provider, housed these companies’ websites and many others on a DNS infrastructure that got invaded Friday morning around 7 a.m.

IT Help Is Just a Click Away

So, what exactly was the attack?
To understand the attack, you need to know two key terms: DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) and DNS (Domain Name Server).

A DDoS attack is designed to disrupt online services by massively flooding websites with botnets. Online visitors experienced slowed loading times or an DNS (Domain Name Server) error when trying to load a website, meaning that the website is no longer able to direct to its regular location and has become offline.

How did this happen?
A large contributor to all the chaos was an electronics component manufacturer in China. Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology admitted to their products having weak security measures, including weak default passwords.

Many older models of their DVR and internet-connected camera products were infected by Mirai malware. While this malware has already captured tens of millions of IP addresses at this point in time, the creator has even distributed its source code to the hacker community, allowing similar malware to spawn.

The Aftermath
As of today, the DDoS attack has come and gone. However, especially considering how the source code has been made available to the hacker world, this doesn’t mean that large-scale DDoS attacks like this can’t make another visit.

Evaluating your IT strategy is a huge part of avoiding situations like these. The easiest step to take is to invest in quality firewall protection to secure your company infrastructure.

OSG goes above and beyond to preserve the protection of our clients through unparalleled IT support. Chat with us to learn more.