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Massive DDoS attacks take down Twitter, Netflix, Reddit

Photo credit: The Register

Waves of cyber attacks have hit domain management company Dyn, sending many popular websites offline for long periods of time.

The attacks - which have thus far affected sites including Reddit, Twitter, Netflix, and Amazon - began at roughly 7 AM EDT, and continued for two and a half hours before a fresh wave of attacks began. The DDoS attack initially impacted users on the east coast of the United States, but now users from across the United States have reported being unable to connect to many popular websites.

According to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, the Department of Homeland Security is actively monitoring the situation, but says that at this point, "[we] don’t have any information about who may be responsible for this malicious activity."

DDoS attacks have always remained one of the most relatively simple tools in an amateur hacker's toolbox, and simple scripts can be downloaded which will automatically DDoS an indicated address. Still, cybersecurity experts like Carl Herberger, vice president of Radware, believe this attack is among the largest in recent history. "[This attack is] consistent with record-setting sized cyber attacks seen in the last few weeks," Herberger said.

Nor is this anything new. DDoS attacks are punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, which penalizes knowingly transmitting any code which may cause harm to a computer or computer network. Still, ease of access makes it exceedingly difficult for authorities to punish would-be hackers. Last year's Steam outage on Christmas day was caused by a DDoS attack, and several weeks ago, a hacker released the source code used in one of the largest DDoS attacks in history.

Source: USAToday

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