Anonymous' "Operation Blackout" won't happen ... probably

If you are reading this article on the day it was posted, March 31, that likely means that the so-called "Operation Blackout" event did not happen. A few days ago, a post on the Pastebin.com site from a hacker group that claimed to be part of the famed Anonymous organization said they would shut down the Internet today via an attack on the 13 servers that control the DNS directory.

There are two major problems with that claim. One is that Twitter posts from groups that also claim to represent Anonymous have already spoken out, saying that the group has no such plans for launching "Operation Blackout".

The other problem is that even if a hacker group decided to launch a cyber attack on those 13 servers, most experts agree that a total shutdown of the Internet wouldn't happen anyway. Mashable quotes Dave Marcus, director of security research at McAfee Labs, as saying:

That doesn’t mean if they tried, there wouldn’t be odd consequences with routers and other things like that. But they’re not going to be able to knock the DNS servers offline.

His thoughts are echoed by Matthew Prince, CEO of CloudFare, who claims that the idea that the Internet can be shut down by attacking 13 DNS servers is false. He states:

There are hundreds of other servers scattered across multiple locations. Those servers are regularly under attack, they’ve sustained fairly massive attacks launched against them and they are run fully redundantly. I think the likelihood anyone could knock the root server system offline is extremely low.

So there you have it. March 31 should come and go without the entire Internet crashing on us ... we think.

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