You know it’s coming, perhaps later than sooner, but soon enough we’ll see the day the internet died. Someone with control over a few million DDoS bots managed to wreak havoc on a single DNS provider last week and that cause numerous outages throughout the U.S. last week; so severe that many major websites were offline for hours.
Millions of DVRs and IP connected camera systems and who knows what else were engaged in a coordinated effort to disrupt internet traffic and they succeeded.
Up until now we’ve assumed that the internet was as reliable as our electrical power. Those days are done. Today, we can expect massive swaths of the internet to be brought down by new DDoS attacks at any time.
According to various sources this particular attack used millions of devices that were hacked and given instructions to flood the internet with so many requests that legitimate requests for websites could not get through.
In a relatively short time we’ve taken a system built to resist destruction by nuclear weapons and made it vulnerable to toasters.
That’s a great line and a somewhat oversimplification, but it’s also a taste of what’s to come, thanks to the Internet of Things whereby tens of millions of non-traditional computers become connected to the internet, and each one can be attacked, compromised, and used to attack whatever source scurrilous hackers choose, including the internet itself.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data… The IoT allows objects to be sensed and/or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.
Unfortunately, just as Windows PCs can be attacked and hacked encase to create a robot army of machines that do the bidding of their controllers, many tens of millions of new devices are just as easily attacked, hacked, and controlled and the entire internet is at risk.
These attacks– some to the very heart of the internet itself; DNS, or the domain name system which controls access to websites– will continue, grow in number and severity, and there is little that can be done to deter such attacks, let alone prevent them.
One day in the not-too-distant-future, the internet as we know it will die.
Can it be resurrected? Yes, but not without a coordinated effort between rather disparate sources scatter all over the world. In the meantime, access to websites and internet services will be diminished to the point of making the internet itself mostly useless for the masses.
That day will come and there isn’t much any of us can do about it, yet Michael Mimoso predicted the future just weeks ago.
And DVRs are not alone; they’ve been joined by IP-enabled cameras, cable boxes, surveillance cameras, home routers, and anything else running a small, embedded computer connected to the Internet. This is the new normal with regard to DDoS attacks. Attackers have figured out how to corral the lightweight processing power of these devices and make them a collective force to be reckoned with.
That was before the recent DNS attacks. A day of reckoning is coming and there is little you can do to prepare.