The Biggest DDoS Attack of 2016 Was Caused by an Angry Gamer

October 2016 saw the biggest DDoS attack of the year target a DNS services company called DYN. The massive attack pumped more than one terabit of data per second, crashing the company’s servers. Even tough Dyn attempted to mitigate the attack, major websites such as Twitter, Netflix and Reddit were temporarily taken down. reported that one cryptographer called it before it happened, as someone was testing the defensive capabilities of companies who provide core internet services. Even though network-wide outage didn’t occur, it still crashed a part internet in the US.

Now net information came to light. Reportedly, a very angry gamer had a grudge against Sony’s PlayStation Network. Dale Drew, CSO of Level 3 Communications, stated:

We believe that in the case of Dyn, the relatively unsophisticated attacker sought to take offline a gaming site with which it had a personal grudge and rented time on the IoT botnet to accomplish this

Drew didn’t name Sony’s PlayStation Network, but the Wall Street Journal found sources that did.

As it turns out, one gamers’ grudge was enough to take down a few major websites. It might seem odd, but the IoT brought vulnerabilities that allow hackers to create entire armies with the use of botnets – in this case, the Mirai botnet.

How One Individual Crippled the Internet

According to Forbes, the individual found hackers on a dark net criminal forum selling access to huge armies of IoT devices infected with the Mirai botnet. The angry gamer paid $7500 for temporary access to the powerful cyberweapon. Then, in an act of revenge, he aimed its “cannons” at Dyn.

Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure, even said on Twitter the ad for the Mirai botnet was on the Alpha Bay form. Alpha Bay is a very popular deep web market, that surged in popularity after Silk Road’s era.

The attack on Dyn was close to the world DDoS record, which was accomplished against OVH, a French hosting provider. The record was at over 1 terabit per second, little above the DDoS attack that recently crippled the internet.

Image from Shutterstock.

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