Attacks on the Internet keep getting bigger and nastier – Los Angeles Times

Could millions of connected cameras, thermostats and kids’ toys bring the Internet to its knees? It’s beginning to look that way.

On Friday, epic cyberattacks crippled a major Internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across the United States. The hacker group claiming responsibility said that the day’s antics were just a dry run and that it has its sights on a much bigger target. And the attackers now have a secret weapon in the increasing array of Internet-enabled household devices they can subvert and use to wreak havoc.

MEET THE FIRE HOSE

Manchester, N.H.-based Dyn Inc. said its server infrastructure was hit by distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks. These work by overwhelming targeted machines with junk data traffic — sort of like knocking someone over by blasting them with a fire hose. The attack temporarily blocked some access to popular websites from across America and Europe such as Twitter, Netflix and PayPal.

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