Last Week's Massive Cyber Attack

Last Friday, a massive cyber-attack rocked the nation’s most popular internet sites. Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, CNN, Spotify, AirBnB, and many other popular websites were targeted in this attack, causing outages across the US and Europe. This has been classified as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, in which a network of computers infected with specific malware, known as a “botnet” are coordinated into flooding a server with heavy traffic until it collapses under the strain. While “botnets” are typically made up of other computers, this botnet was unique in that it was made out of devices on the Internet of Things (IoT) which includes everyday devices such as smartphones, digital cameras, smart TVs, and other household appliances with internet connectivity.

According to David Fidler, the adjunct senior fellow for cybersecurity at the Council on Foreign Relations, this attack was about twice as powerful as any other similar attack on record. As the US is in its final week before the 2016 presidential election, many people are severely concerned that another cyberattack will target the election and possibly alter the outcome.

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