Did Your Devices Hack the Internet?

October 24, 2016

There was a major attack on the Internet last Friday and it brought many major sites to their knees. The attack came from compromised devices, but it wasn’t computers or mobile phones. Instead it was security cameras and other “Internet of things” devices like refrigerators.

Anything that connects to the Internet needs to be secured. At the very least, these devices need to have their default username and passwords changed. It is not uncommon for them to have very generic usernames like “admin” and very generic passwords that could even be “password”. So if you have any connected devices, go in and change the settings. Ideally you should change them to something that won’t be easily guessed, but anything other than the defaults is better than nothing.

This specific attack was centered on a company than manages DNS (domain name services). For example, they connect a domain name like “graphics-unleashed.com” to an IP address consisting of four sets of numbers. Think of it like Caller ID on a phone. The name gets connected to the phone number.

While none of our sites was hacked, they were slowed considerably. For a few hours we have trouble connecting to the back-end of our sites to make changes or to process orders. Don’t worry, all information was perfectly safe. It just tested our patience when we couldn’t really do much of anything.

There will likely be more attacks and they will happen more often. To use a popular term, there are a lot of “bad hombres” out there. A successful hack can be quite profitable and so there are hackers who want to instigate attacks to get paid. One way all of us can combat the problem is to make sure our devices are secure so they can’t be used as part of the attack.

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