Earlier this week, countless people across the United States reported that they were unable to make or receive phone calls, texts, connect to their internet service, or even use popular social media platforms. As our society relies on phones and internet for both personal and professional use, this created a very inconvenient situation for many businesses and individuals.
When something this disruptive occurs, it can be difficult to find out what really happened or determine the source. Some speculate it was an organized DDoS attack against the U.S. in an effort to prevent communication and cause harm, while others wholeheartedly claim it was an honest network configuration error caused by T-Mobile.
What is a DDoS Attack?
Security Boulevard explains: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), where the perpetrator seeks to disrupt a targeted IT infrastructure, is a leading cause of business disruption today. This extends to critical infrastructures like power plants, healthcare facilities, education institutions and government entities. On average, downtime can cost a company up to $67 million over two years. In the case of small and medium businesses (SMBs) struggling with cybersecurity, downtime costs can climb up to $50,000 per hour.
“There is a continuous arms race regarding DDoS attacks,” said De Weerdt. “Attackers try to find new vulnerabilities and methods to carry out a successful attack. Organizations that are victims of DDoS attacks meanwhile try to adapt their mitigation capabilities accordingly. This arms race will not end for the time being.”
Here are a few articles to learn more about the situation…
- “Global DDoS Attack Dismissed as T-Mobile Misconfiguration” by Info Security Magazine: Claims of a global DDoS attack have been dismissed, with evidence showing it was caused by a misconfiguration. The issue was apparently caused by a misconfiguration at T-Mobile in the USA. Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile, claimed in a statement published at 845pm PT that it had “been experiencing a voice and text issue that has intermittently impacted customers in markets across the US” which started just after 12pm EDT, and continued through the day.
- “No, The U.S. Has Not Suffered The Biggest Cyber-Attack In History: Here’s What Actually Happened” by Forbes: As hundreds of thousands of people reported mobile carriers and internet services down, and ‘DDoS’ started trending on Twitter, ‘Anonymous’ laid the blame on China and suggested a major cyber-attack was underway. As Jake Moore, a cybersecurity specialist at ESET, says, “rumors spread like wildfire on the internet, and it’s usually horror sounding stories like this that travel the fastest. Fact-checking before sharing is vital, but as it takes time, many people tend to just read a headline before sharing it, which adds fuel to the fire.”
- “Relax — There Was No Large-Scale DDoS Attack” by My Tech Decisions: A twitter account allegedly associated with Anonymous tweeted that the country was under a major DDoS attack. That tweet even included an ominous map that showed a supposed influx of traffic to the U.S. from other countries. However, that map was essentially a random sample of DDoS traffic and didn’t indicate anything out of the ordinary, Forbes reported. Other cybersecurity and DDoS experts told Forbes that there was no evidence of a significant, large-scale DDoS attack. Much of the speculation was around T-Mobile’s outages, but that was due to poorly executed maintenance on the carrier’s network, Newsweek reported.
Whatever you decide to believe, we know one thing to be true: It’s vital to work with a Managed IT and Managed Cyber Security Provider to make sure your network and devices are protected 24/7 and systems are up to date with the most innovative solutions. Computers Nationwide prides ourselves in working with trustworthy, cutting edge organizations to offer our clients to best services possible. CN’s goal is to be proactive in keeping your business secure!
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