Major DDoS Attack Causes U.S. Outages on Twitter, Reddit, Others

Early this morning, a large distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) directed at the Internet performance management company Dyn caused Web site outages for a number of its customers, including Twitter, Reddit, Spotify and SoundCloud. Services were restored to normal by 9:20 a.m. Eastern Time, the company said.

In a status update shortly after 7 a.m., New Hampshire-based Dyn reported that it was monitoring and working to mitigate a DDoS attack against its own managed domain name system (DNS). Affecting mostly the eastern U.S., the attack caused a number of Dyn customer Web sites to experience delays in loading.

A DDoS attack occurs when malicious actors overload an Internet site or service with massive amounts of traffic from hacked or otherwise compromised systems in different locations. In the case of the attack on Dyn, this affected the company's ability to manage DNS queries and connect traffic to customers' proper IP addresses at normal speeds.

Attack on 'Half the Internet'

While today's DDoS attack was resolved relatively quickly, a number of news sites described it as having shut down "half the Internet" for users on the East Coast. In addition to customers, such as Twitter and Reddit, Dyn's client list includes large sites such as, CNBC, Etsy, RedHat and Zillow.

The scale and scope of DDoS attacks have been growing dramatically over the past year or so. Last month, for example, writer Brian Krebs' KrebsOnSecurity Web site was temporarily brought down by a recording-breaking DDoS attack generating traffic levels of up to 620 Gbps. Shortly afterward, the France-based hosting company OVH sustained a DDoS attack that was nearly twice as massive as the one on Krebs' site.

In a blog post about today's attack on Dyn, Krebs noted that the recent scale of attacks has caught Internet security companies off-guard. "DDoS...

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