If you experienced some trouble with your internet Friday morning, it was most likely caused by this. Dyn — a company that hosts domain name systems — announced Friday they had been the victims of a cyberattack that caused major problems for numerous websites. This included some big name sites such as Twitter, Spotify, SoundCloud, Vox Media sites, and Airbnb. The source of the attack is still unknown.
Domain name systems (DNS) are essentially the GPS of the internet, taking the text URLs you type into a browser and figuring out where those websites’ data is located on the back end. So when you type mashable.com in a browser, it shows you both the real Mashable and can quickly and easily locate the nearest server that hosts the site’s data.
The attack was resolved as of 9:20 a.m. EST, Dyn said.
Writing on its website, Dyn said that starting at about 7 a.m. EST, the company “beganmonitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.”
DDoS stands for “distributed denial of service” and is a common tactic used by hackers to take down internet-connected servers. In a DDoS attack, malicious users build a network of computers that then send massive amounts of traffic to particular servers with the goal of denying the use of those servers to other users, according to Cisco.
The source of the attack Friday was not immediately clear.
“Hackers have no rules. One of the problems we have is that they move much faster than cyber-defenders. A DDoS attack can be launched in literally seconds, or under an hour if it’scoordinated by a larger group,” Steven Morgan, founder of the research firm Cybersecurity Ventures, told Mashable. “Right now, we’re in the phase of figuring out where did this come from.”