Hundreds of thousands of devices such as webcams and DVRs were infected with malicious code to create a so-called ‘botnet’ to target leading sites last week.
The attack, on Friday, targetted internet infrastucture firm Dyn which manages web traffic for customers that include Paypal, Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, Reddit, Etsy, Github and other favorites.
The huge attack on global internet access is believed to have been unleashed by hackers using common devices like webcams and digital recorders.
It is the first major example of how the rising number of “Internet of Things” devices could be exploited in malicious ways.
Outages were intermittent and varied by geography, but reportedly began in the eastern US before spreading to other parts of the country and Europe.
Users complained they could not reach dozens of internet destinations, including Mashable, CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Yelp and some businesses hosted by Amazon.
The malware behind the DDoS attack was effectively a botnet comprised of millions of Internet connected devices, from DVRs and routers to CCTV cameras.
A DDoS attack uses a variety of techniques to send countless junk requests to a website. This boosts traffic to the website so much that it gets overwhelmed, making it nearly impossible for anyone to load the page.
According to Dyn, the incident was officially resolved as of Saturday evening.