A series of denial of service attacks on a major DNS provider have caused major issues across the internet, with outages of some of the largest sites and services including the New York Times, CNN, Netflix, and Twitter experienced across about half of the U.S. Now the Department of Homeland Security is getting involved, reports AppleInsider (www.appleinsider.com).
The attacks initially targeted DNS provider Dyn’s servers at about 11 a.m. (Eastern) were mitigated by the company’s countermeasures. At about 12:20 p.m. (Eastern), the attacks continued and the outages are now expanding to California, Texas, Washington, and even the UK.
The attacks are now being monitored by the United States Department of Homeland Security, and the agency is “investigating all potential causes” of the massive disruption. DNS providers such as Dyn resolve site name to IP addresses so that web browsers may communicate with servers for content delivery. A DDoS attack uses masses of hijacked PCs (usually through malware) to overwhelm the capabilities of a website or DNS provider. When users are unable to get through to a popular site, they begin refreshing it repeatedly in an attempt to load a page, which causes even more of a problem.