Blog / The BIGGER They are …

Does anyone besides me find it ironic that security cameras and DVRs were used in a virus attack?Chapter 2 of our story opens with these devices using the Internet to attack a very specific company called DYN.  DYN is an Internet company that provides a variety of technical services, including DynDNS. The attack consisted of the IoT devices contacting (or pinging) the DynDNS servers for simple information. This is a normal day-to-day function for the DynDNS servers.

Except they had 10 of millions of requests in a very short period of time …

Which caused the DynDNS servers to be overloaded and they couldn’t handle their legitimate traffic.  In effect, the servers were shutdown.  This is called a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack.

The final chapter in this tale-of-woe tells us why anyone would want to attack such an obscure company like DYN. If you recall, DNS is the phone book that translates a normal Internet address (like www.google.com) into the IP address of the server where the Google website resides.  So DNS is the service that allows your browser to find websites on the Internet.  No DNS, no websites.  There are lots of DNS servers on the Internet, but companies must choose which DNS servers holds their pointer records.

Twitter, Amazon, Netflix, Tumblr and Spotify – among thousands of others – use DynDNS for DNS services.

All of them were effectively shutdown for huge sections of customers and users because of this attack. Looking at a map of the US, California, Texas, the Pacific Northwest, and the entire Eastern seaboard were affected.  To be accurate, most of the large players like Twitter and Netflix use several DNS servers for redundancy and load balancing.  But this attack still had a significant impact on their services. Many DynDNS customers had no redundancy.

All of this happened last Friday (October 21, 2016). DYN were able to restore normal DNS service 6 hours after the initial attack.

And so the moral of story, dear readers is this:

The Internet is not a sure thing; even the big players fall hard when something goes wrong.If you have mission-critical data and services, don’t trust them to the Cloud. Keep them local and under your control.

If you would like more information about where your data and services currently reside, and what you can do to protect them, please contact us or your primary technician.


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