Share on Facebook The Internet is no longer just a place of content. It is the latest technological breakthrough in communication following the telegraph and the telephone.
The attack began creating problems for Internet users reaching an array of sites, including Twitter, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit, Spotify and Netflix. At first, it was unclear who or what was behind the attack on Dyn. At the end Septemberthe hacker responsible for creating the Mirai malware released the source code for iteffectively letting anyone build their own attack army using Mirai.
Mirai scours the Web for IoT devices protected by little more than factory-default usernames and passwords, and then enlists the devices in attacks that hurl junk traffic at an online target until it can no longer accommodate legitimate visitors or users.
Even worse, the web interface is not aware that these credentials even exist.
As I noted in The Democratization of Censorshipto address the threat from the mass-proliferation of hardware devices such as Internet routers, DVRs and IP cameras that ship with default-insecure settings, we probably need an industry security association, with published standards that all members adhere to and are audited against periodically.
The wholesalers and retailers of these devices might then be encouraged to shift their focus toward buying and promoting connected devices which have this industry security association seal of approval.
Consumers also would need to be educated to look for that seal of approval. Until then, these insecure IoT devices are going to stick around like a bad rash — unless and until there is a major, global effort to recall and remove vulnerable systems from the Internet.
In my humble opinion, this global cleanup effort should be funded mainly by the companies that are dumping these cheap, poorly-secured hardware devices onto the market in an apparent bid to own the market. Well, they should be made to own the cleanup efforts as well.
Devices infected with Mirai are instructed to scour the Internet for IoT devices protected by more than 60 default usernames and passwords. The entire list of those passwords — and my best approximation of which firms are responsible for producing those hardware devices — can be found at my story, Who Makes the IoT Things Under Attack.
Corrected attribution on outage graphic.One of the worst dangers of the Internet, for many parents, is the idea that pornography could pop up and surprise their children. But parents may not realize that some kids are going online to seek out web porn, too.
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