Have you downloaded a new app lately? You could have inadvertently aided in a DDoS attack. Here’s the rundown on how DDoS attacks work and what the implications could mean for the future.
Title tag: The Nerd Compass. Directions for the internet from Name.com
Pat: I mean, nowadays on the internet it’s kind of a Wild West out there with everyone’s, you know, fridge and cell phone being connected to the internet.
Screen text: How we got attacked by cellphones, a.k.a. DDoS from your pocket.
Patrick Ramsey, Software Developer
The gist of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack
Pat: [A DDoS attack is] to send a bunch of legitimate-looking requests to a site so that the site is overwhelmed with all these legitimate-looking requests and regular customers can’t get in.
Screen text: How we got attacked by cell phones
Pat: So it was like a malicious upload to the Android App store that these people downloaded, and I think one was a ringtone, one was some YouTube browser, and they would start using them. And even if they’re in the background they could start attacking.
Screen text: Do people know that their phones are attacking the internet?
Pat: They wouldn’t even notice it most of the time unless they’re actually looking at their network traffic or they’re on a
really slow connection and stuff was acting up, but yeah they would they would have no idea that their device is doing this in the background.
Screen text: So, wait … everyday items are going rogue and taking down websites?
Pat: Yeah, as everything becomes more and more on the internet of things—yeah the Mirai botnet which took down a DNS provider called Dyn, and that was people that were attacking the PlayStation Network I believe.
Pat: That was all internet-connected cameras, so it’s all these new, internet-connected devices—that aren’t designed securely, or have default usernames and passwords, or things that you can’t change on them to make them secure—that are enabling attackers to get access to them and then to use them in denial of service attacks.
Screen text: How do we stop, say our refrigerator from going rogue?
Pat: The internet wasn’t designed with the intention of security first like that that was never the intent of the internet so people have been building security on top of that, whereas now I think some of the newer products coming
out hopefully are designed well enough where you know security is a first priority. But just today on Twitter I saw a grill that is now connected to your WiFi.
Pat: Don’t trust an application out there from just anyone you know. Google, like those are good people, but they can’t control everything in their app store.
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