Incidents

Last night’s massive internet outages were not triggered by cyberattack against US companies

Last Monday night, multiple rumors arose on Twitter regarding interruptions in the services of telecommunications companies, videogame platforms, social networks, online banking, among other services. According to cloud security course experts, platforms that have confirmed outages include AT&T, Facebook Messenger, Fortnite, Instagram, T-Mobile, and Twitch.

A few hours have passed since the outages and various members of the cybersecurity community say there is no evidence to confirm that the IT infrastructure in the U.S. has been the target of a massive denial of service (DDoS) attack, ruling out these cyberwarfare theories.

Cloud security course experts mention that the confusion began after a Twitter account allegedly affiliated with the hacktivists group Anonymous claimed that the U.S. territory was “under a massive DDoS attack,” sharing a link to a digital tracking map of this kind of activity.

Shortly thereafter, the operators of this account released an update: “We speculate that the attack could be China’s responsibility, as the situation between North and South Korea is deteriorating.” Despite the questionable authenticity of these accounts, and the lack of evidence to support their claims, these messages were shared more than 10,000 times.

The DDoS attack hypothesis was dismissed soon after: “This has come to the attention of thousands of people, and the publication is even backed by elaborated graphics, although the reality is much more boring,” says Matthew Prince, founder of cybersecurity firm Cloudflare.  

According to Prince, everything indicates that these disruptions were caused by T-Mobile, which was performing a routine maintenance of its systems: “Something went wrong and this caused multiple consecutive failures; thousands of T-Mobile users began complaining on Twitter and other platforms, leading to a bigger collapse.” This hypothesis was supported by cloud security course specialists.

From the beginning the cybersecurity community showed skepticism about the alleged DDoS attack: “Disruption in T-Mobile had greater consequences than it appears, which caused failures in other services,” said Marcus Hutchins, a researcher recognized for his work against the WannaCry ransomware outbreak in 2017.

Regarding the graphs shared by the alleged hacktivists, Hutchins assures that these are simple random data unrelated to recent flaws.

For further reports on vulnerabilities, exploits, malware variants and computer security risks, it is recommended to enter the website of the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), as well as the official platforms of technology companies.   

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