The artistic side of engineering

Article Day 5.

Warned of an Attack on the Internet, and Getting Ready

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/31/technology/with-advance-warning-bracing-for-attack-on-internet-by-anonymous.html?ref=technology

What intrigued me?

— The group that is making these threats is known as Anonymous and I’ve heard about them before on other websites and know of what kind of trouble they can cause. Because of this, when I heard that they were planning to attack some of the internet’s crucial areas it worried me that I or my computer could be at risk of not only common viruses and whatnot but also of giving away my personal information and using my identity for other things. I could potentially lose my whole identity if worse came to worse.

How does it impact me?

— An attack like this would theoretically shut down or crash major parts of the internet for an unknown amount of time. Because I am writing this late on the 31st I have seen a followup article that claims there were no attempts at shutting down the servers. There was a five minute spike in activity at midnight but it died down and nothing went wrong after that. However, since I rely on the internet so heavily in my life (maybe not the best thing) an attack like this could cause quite a disturbance in my everyday life. Now it is not entirely clear as to the long-term effects of this attack but with the power that I’ve seen Anonymous display on previous incidences of hacking I wouldn’t be surprised if it took a while for these networks to recover from it. Hopefully this gearing up will protect us from future attacks if there are any.

Follow-up article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/technology/no-signs-of-attack-on-internet.html?ref=technology

Important points?

  1. Anonymous planned to attack the Domain Name System on March 31st and crash it, doing considerable damage
  2. Engineers took this as a credible threat and went to great lengths to protect the internet from such an attack by expanding capacity of the servers in the main pillar of the Domain Name System
  3. Anonymous’ attack would supposedly “blast” the name servers with data in what is known as a distributed denial of service attack to a point where they can’t handle that much information at once
  4. Even if “Operation Global Blackout” does not happen, the threat will cause an increase of capacity and crackdown on security which will ultimately help the servers from future threats
  5. As of late Saturday there were no major attacks, only a five minute spike in activity at midnight, nothing major

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