Cyber Attack Blamed For Mass Internet Outage Weeks Before Election

Those of us cursing Jack Dorsey on Friday, October 21, should retract. was one of several websites affected when a cyber attack at Dyn, an upstream domain name system company, made a mess out of service.  From Mashable.

Writing on its website, Dyn said that starting at about 7 a.m. EST, the company “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.”

The attack was resolved by 9:20 a.m. EST, but not before causing service disruptions for a number of popular websites:

  • Spotify
  • SoundCloud
  • Vox Media sites
  • Airbnb, and more.

The attack resulted in DDoS or distributed denial of service messaging for a variety of sites that did not discriminate:

“Hackers have no rules. One of the problems we have is that they move much faster than cyber-defenders. A DDoS attack can be launched in literally seconds, or under an hour if it’s coordinated by a larger group,” Steven Morgan, founder of the research firm Cybersecurity Ventures, told Mashable. “Right now, we’re in the phase of figuring out where did this come from.” …

“The internet continues to rely on protocols and infrastructure designed before cyber security was an issue.  DDoS, especially with the rise of insecure IOT devices, will continue to plague our organizations,” Ben Johnson, a chief security strategist for Carbon Black, told Mashable. “Sadly, what we are seeing is only the beginning in terms of large scale botnets and disproportionate damage done.”

At the time of this writing, there are no indications of what actors were involved, Russian intelligence or not.  Without more information, this incident will surely add to the lore of the 2016 presidential election and the social and online media battle that has defined it.

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About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.

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