A massive denial of service attack two weeks paralyzed the Internet for a big chunk of the U.S. and caused problems for sites like Paypal and Twitter.  A denial of service attack (DDOS attack) sends a massive amount of junk data to sites, basically clogging the Internet pipeline with garbage and making it impossible for other data to get through.

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What’s interesting is how these hackers did it. The hijacked everyday household items like baby monitors, thermostats, webcams, and DVRS.  All of these devices have Internet connections and most of them are not particularly secure.

Experts have been warning for a long time about potential vulnerabilities in these smart appliances. And these days even refrigerators and toys come with Internet capabilities.  But unlike PCs and smartphones, you can’t download security apps to protect them.  Hopefully, this serves as a wake-up call about the need to make sure all devices are secure from hackers.

~ Cynthia