At first, it was unclear who or what was behind the attack on Dyn. But over the past few hours, at least one computer security firm has come out saying the attack involved Mirai, the same malware strain that was used in the record 620 Gpbs attack on my site last month. At the end September 2016, the hacker responsible for creating the Mirai malware released the source code for it, effectively 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.
Setting aside the shoddy security of these devices, yesterday felt incredibly weird. I spent most of my work day without access to Twitter and it was a miserable experience. The service has become an important part of my life, it’s where I communicate with my friends and first hear about important news. Without it, I feel eerily disconnected. I actually had to type a URL into my browser to find out why the service was down.