By now, you have probably heard about the cyberattack that crippled Dyn’s Domain Name System (DNS) this past Friday. Some of the websites affected included Netflix, Twitter, Spotify, Reddit, AirBNB, and many others. When you type in a website address (e.g., www.google.com) the request goes through a DNS server which translates that website name to its numerical value (e.g., 18.104.22.168) so your computer can fetch the proper website. This mechanism only exists to make our lives easier, so that we can use names for web addresses and not have to remember numerical values for websites.
Dyn is a major provider of DNS services and what happened on Friday was a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). The DDoS attack involved millions of devices making requests to Dyn’s servers at the exact same time, resulting in the flooding and overloading of the servers.
Why is this important for you to even know about? The devices that were used in this attack were devices that were plugged directly into the Internet and used the default passwords from the manufacturers. Whether you realize it or not, every device that you connect to the Internet can be used as a weapon for attacks such as these. Your devices can be compromised, malicious software can be added, and they will become part of a digital army without you even knowing it.
Here are some tips to prevent your equipment from being compromised:
- 1. Never connect any equipment directly to your Internet connection. You should always have a firewall between your devices and the Internet.
- Always change the default username and passwords for any Internet related device that you install.
- Apply updates from manufacturers. Updates come out to patch vulnerabilities that a manufacturer discovers in their software which may allow for the device to be compromised.
Security should be a major concern for you. You cannot set it and forget it. New threats are constantly emerging but who is watching your network? Take the first step towards the security of your network. Give us a call at 908.688.2444 to setup your security consultation.