Categories: Security

Major cyber attack in US: was it DDoS or just massive outage?

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There’s been a massive digital outage in the United States and many believe it is a form of a cyber attack. But is it really a DDoS attack?

A modus operandi in the form of a DDoS attack has been a cyber plague in the United State as of late. Earlier this month, players of Activision Blizzard games experience a DDoS attack.

Many of the observers believe that this was a form of retaliation to the gaming giant after being tagged with hypocrisy following its show of support to the BLM movement. However, this time, the coverage was massive.

For those who are not aware of what DDoS means, it’s an abbreviation for “distributed denial-of-service” attack. This happens when someone or a group of people try to infiltrate the servers by flooding it or overwhelming it with too much traffic, to a breaking point that will result in a system crash.

Anonymous says the U.S. is “under a major DDoS attack”

According to Forbes, there was a “sudden and wide-ranging outages in online and telecommunication services” across the United States, leading many to believe that this was a form of a “coordinated attack.”

On June 15, many have reported server downtimes for many social media and gaming platforms. Other online and communication services were gravely affected as well.

As multiple platforms have gone down, Anonymous, an online “hacktivist” collective, tweeted that the U.S. is “under a major attack,” with an image of from Digital Attack Map showing directions from where the supposed DDoS attack is coming from.

In a follow-up tweet, Anonymous added, “The source of the DDoS attack on the United States is currently unknown. We speculate it may be China as the situation between South and North Korea is currently deteriorating.”

Online publication MEAWW says theories have emerged citing the possibility that China or Russia might be behind the attack.

As many may have seen in the recent news, the POTUS Donald Trump has been very expressive of his feelings against China. There have been administrative actions, such as blacklisting Chinese firms.

Although, MalwareTech was quick to slam down Anonymous’s claim.

Affected platforms and services

According to Downdetector, some of the telecommunication and internet services that were affected are:

  • T-Mobile
  • Verizon
  • AT&T
  • Frontier
  • Tracfone
  • Comcast
  • Straight Talk
  • Spectrum
  • Sprint
  • Consumer Cellular
  • Mediacom
  • US Cellular

On the gaming and social media platforms, here are some that were reported to Downdetector by the American consumers:

Banks have been affected too, such as Chase, US Bank, and Bank of America.

Cloudflare CEO downplays outage to something “far more boring”

Meanwhile, Matthew Prince, the co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare, says, via Twitter, that the “scary-looking graphs” being reported by many, while “makes for a good headline,” is, however, allegedly not accurate.

Moreover, Price says the “reality” of this massive outage is said to be “far more boring.”

Prince says it started with T-Mobile

The Cloudflare CEO further explained through a series of tweets as to what may have caused this massive outage.

Per Prince’s subsequent tweet:

It starts with T-Mobile. They were making some changes to their network configurations today. Unfortunately, it went badly. The result has been for around the last 6 hours a series of cascading failures for their users, impacting both their voice and data networks.

He further explained that Cloudflare didn’t detect any sign of a “massive DDoS attack,” which is usually picked up from a sudden “spike in traffic to any of the major Internet Exchanges.”

On the other hand, some are saying that the reported downtime might be due to the White Rabbit Protocol that happened on June 15 as well.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile has just recently announced that all of its communication services are now “fully operational.” Hopefully, this massive outage was nothing but a result of a digital domino effect and that this was not an act of cyber terrorism to the United States.

Featured image courtesy of Nahel Abdul Hadi/Unsplash

Justine Uy

Justine Uy is a graphic artist turned content writer. New discoveries in technology and research fascinate her, while the gaming world is her addiction.

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Justine Uy

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