Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Internet Outage....

Before my retirement from a major telecommunications company, I worked in the IT organization for 27 years.  During those years, I was amazed at how little things could bring down entire networks and how extremely vulnerable our data and voice networks could be.  We take for granted our phones and cellphones work every time we want to make a call.  We also expect our internet connection to fire up instantly when we want to get connected.  Behind the scene is a complex mass of electronics and technology that makes this happen.  Precious few people understand exactly how it works and many so called experts who use the technology are merely 'appliance operators'.  They are great at using the appliance, but have no idea of how the appliance was built nor how it really works.  For example, people can be great smartphone users, but have something go wrong inside or on the network and its over their heads.

But there is a group of people who not only know how things work at the deepest levels, but also how to exploit them.  Some of these people are great designers and programmers and others are criminals or hacks.  Some are friendly and others are in not so friendly countries all over the planet.  All it takes is a laptop and an internet connection.

Some of the DNS companies that serve the internet
Today's attack that brought down the internet was fairly simple.  Believe it or not, it was taken down by surveillance cameras and DVRs.  Hackers exploited default passwords in these devices all around the world and put in software that would attack a company called DynDNS.  This company offers internet users the ability to find a site by name  (i.e.  www.mysiteblog.com). Because most sites have dynamic IP addresses that can change often and at any time, a way to map them is essential.  By attacking DynDNS, this made the re-routing of traffic to the proper IP address impossible.  The cameras and DVRs all flooded and overwhelmed the company's servers.  DynDNS is only one of many companies that do this kind of routing.  DNS servers are all over the world and are like the phone directories of the internet world.  Scramble the directory and you have chaos.

I warned that the internet would have some strange events shortly in Monday's blog post.  Now I am looking for the false flag event.  Conspiracy theory...not really, its just so predictable how we are being set up for a major conflict with Russia.  

Hope I can get back to my family in time.  Only 9 more days here in Kalifornia.


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