Massive cyberattack turned ordinary devices into weapons

A cyberattack that took down large swaths of the internet around the world on Friday was carried out, in part, by unsuspecting devices connected to the internet.

Security firm Flashpoint said it believes that digital video recorders and webcams in people’s homes were taken over by malware and then, without owners’ knowledge, used to help execute the massive cyberattack.

Hundreds of thousands of devices appear to have have been infected with the malware.
It was a distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attack. Using the malware, hackers were able to flood a website with so much traffic that it impaired normal service.

The DDoS attack overwhelmed the servers of New Hampshire-based company Dyn and came in three waves Friday starting around 7 a.m. ET. Dyn says the attack has ended.

Dyn is part of the backbone of the internet. It works as a middleman to make sure that when you type in a URL like twitter.com, you get to the correct site.

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Author: Samuel Burke