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Massive cyberattack turned ordinary devices into weapons

on Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:21 am


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.

As a result, throughout the day Friday many users were unable to connect to popular platforms like Twitter, Netflix, Spotify and the Financial Times in various parts of the U.S. and Europe -- mainly the American northeast and the U.K.
The FBI said Friday that it was "investigating all potential causes of the attack," and the U.K.'s Home Office said it was looking into the matter.

So far, no one has pointed a finger at a particular group or nation.

"It's too soon to know," Doug Madory, a director at Dyn told CNNMoney...............

money.cnn.com
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