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Vulnerability Is the Internet’s Original Sin

Fred Kaplan

On the day (perhaps not long from now) when the entire internet crashes, no one will be able to say that we didn’t see it coming. The denial-of-service attack on the morning of Oct. 21—which shut down Twitter, Spotify, Netflix, and a dozen other websites—offers a preview, in miniature and against relatively trivial targets, of how the day of doom might unfold.

In the attack, someone (identity as yet unknown) flooded Dyn DNS—a New Hampshire–based firm that operates as the internet’s switchboard—with so many online messages that its circuits overloaded, shutting down not only its own services but those of the other sites as well, at least for several hours.


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