'Have You Changed the Password on Your Smart Fridge Lately?' | PJ Media:
""That's a question asked by Popular Mechanics writer Eric Limer who wrote an article explaining the massive internet outage on the East Coast on Friday and why the attack may be only the beginning.
The Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS) used thousands upon thousands of computers and other internet connected devices to attack the internet performance company Dyn.
...The DDoS attack floods that server with illegitimate requests, so many that very few real requests can get through.
The user gets a message that the server is not available.
Service is intermittent because a few requests are sometimes still able to go through.
As Limer explains, this was the largest DDos attack in history - almost 3 times the size of any previous incident.
What made it possible was the posting of the source code for a botnet known as "Mirai" that allows relatively easy access to all the "smart" devices in our homes; DVR's, smart refrigerators and thermostats among many.
Hence, his wry observation, "Have you changed the password on your smart fridge lately? I thought not."
That piece of malware coupled with the targeting of Dyn, led to a day of chaos on the East Coast internet:
The Mirai code focuses on all kinds of smart devices including cameras to internet-connected fridges, but its bread and butter is DVRs.
Of the nearly 500,000 devices known to be compromised by the Mirai malware, some 80 percent of them are DVRs, according to an in-depth investigation of by Level 3 communications.
...The most terrifying part:
This is probably only the beginning.
The obvious question:
Was this some sort of dry run for an attack on the internet on election day?
Since a DDoS attack does not require penetration of computers, the resulting internet outages would be inconvenient but manageable.
No doubt the psychological impact of such an attack would be far greater than any damage caused by it..."