By now you have probably already heard that major websites, including PayPal, Twitter, Spotify, Netflix and many more, were brought down (or slowed down to the point that they were functionally useless) a few weeks ago. In this particular instance, Internet DNS server Dyn appears to have been the only impacted platform, but in the past we have seen smaller scale “Distributed Denial of Service” (DDoS) attacks take down other DNS servers too.
At ATB, we have experienced outages similar to this (though in hindsight on a much smaller scale) when DNS is hosted at providers like GoDaddy and Network solutions. When DNS fails to work, everything from email and website access to remote access and cloud based applications are also rendered useless. That’s why, at ATB, we use highly redundant DNS providers for our clients. This redundancy means that Name Servers are distributed around the world and can respond to DNS requests even when servers closer to home are attacked or fail. The bottom line is that if you want guaranteed uptime, you need more than just multiple DNS servers to ensure 100% DNS availability, and when you work with one of ATB’s preferred providers, that’s exactly what you get. Contact your ATB representative today to discuss how we can help ensure you’re best protected before the next attack (because after the fact, it’s too late).
Dyn, like all DNS providers, serves as the backbone between the URLs you type in and the corresponding IP addresses. And while DDos attacks are nothing new, this one was different. Rather than just overwhelming individual websites, thereby causing them to go down due to impossibly large volumes of traffic, this attack made a point of overwhelming the directory function which ultimately caused outages and loading problems across much of the Internet. Additionally, this attack was unique in that Mirai-based botnets were successfully able to infiltrate network connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as security cameras, DVRs and so much more. This allowed for a coordinated attack on targeted websites by directing these tens-of-thousands (if not more) devices to a single place at a specific time to takedown specific sites by overwhelming the system.