Last Friday, major websites in the United States were shut down in denial-of-service attacks. These attacks are essentially carried out by overwhelming a system with excessive requests and making it inaccessible to users, thereby shutting it down. What made this attack different than the many others launched was its size. These attacks are most effective when other servers and devices are used, without the owner’s knowledge, to overload the site being attacked. In this attack, not only conventional computing systems were used, but the vast array of devices that are increasingly accessing the internet and operated using mobile devices. For example, a coffeepot that can be connected to the internet so you can order it to start brewing from bed. This “Internet of Things” was essentially hijacked to carry out the attack.
At a certain level, this is no different from the hacking epidemic that has affected not…
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