“A major company was hacked….”
This has been a common news story over the last few years but last week a major attack occurred. The problem with most of these attacks is that the majority of the public doesn’t understand the issue. The average person tends to make the problem into a “bogey man” story. The current hack in the news was nothing new. This particular hack has been going on for years.
It really wasn’t a penetration into the company. The attack was a DDOS, Distributed Denial Of Service attack. It simply means that the company was flooded with too many requests to be serviced. Think of it like a phone that is constantly busy. Someone is blabbing on the phone and all you hear is a busy signal. Legitimate calls aren’t able to complete. This is what happened last week. People were not able to connect to certain websites. There was nothing wrong with their computer.
The company in the news, Dyn, is a DNS provider of a service on the Internet. Computer use DNS like an address book. When you type the name of a website in the browser, DNS tells the browser what IP address to use to make a connection. If your computer isn’t able to get the correct IP address, the computer will never be able to connect to the proper website.
Botnets were used to hit the DNS server with too many messages and cause DNS to fail. A botnet is a group of compromised systems that are loaded with a virus that allows the infected device to respond to commands. An example of a command could be to ping a particular computer on the Internet. If enough bots ping a target, the target will be unable to respond to valid traffic. Security analysts have reported that Chinese IoT, Internet of Things devices composed the botnets that were responsible for the attack. The Chinese IoT devices could be any intelligent, low cost device. You might not even realize that your “device” is IoT. A few years ago, NKC Systems serviced a computer that was compromised by a smart picture frame from China.
If you allow your computer to become compromised by viruses you don’t only affect your computer. Your computer could be helping hackers disrupt Internet traffic. Be a good network neighbor, keep your antivirus program up to date.
There were no computer penetrations in the latest computer news. The bogey man didn’t get into any major computer system. Your computer is SAFE! Don’t panic, the computer news last week is not computer Armageddon. Nothing new happened. If you have any questions ask someone. Don’t assume that the computer “end of the world” is here.