A year ago, a DDoS attack caused internet outages around the US by targeting the internet-infrastructure company Dyn, which provides Domain Name System services to look up web servers. Monday saw a nationwide series of outages as well, but with a more pedestrian cause: a misconfiguration at Level 3, an internet backbone company—and enterprise ISP—that underpins other big networks. Network analysts say that the misconfiguration was a routing issue that created a ripple effect, causing problems for companies like Comcast, Spectrum, Verizon, Cox, and RCN across the country.
The last two days have seen one of the most interesting and disturbing examples of the ongoing problems with Internet security, and the potential of contending with anonymous groups and aggressive governments who use the Internet for hostile purposes. We have just experienced the largest Internet cyber attack in history. The New York Times, The Guardian and host of other global media and technology news sources, and blogs have seized on this story. Internet experts are pessemistic that anything can be done to defend against this situation, or any other similar attack, other than to find and prosecute the perpetrators. Some experts have speculated that another attack on this scale could have grave consequences for global banking and investment trading systems.