I told you so. I warned you we were on the verge of attacks that could knock the internet off, and now we're seeing the first of them. Dyn, a major Domain Name System (DNS) service provider, is being assaulted by a global Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. Because Dyn provides DNS services for household-name websites such as AirBnB, GitHub, Spotify, Reddit, and Twitter, these sites have essentially been down for hours.
At this point we don't know a lot about the attacks. We can presume they are massive in scale. How big is that? Try terabit-per-second DDoS levels.
According to Andrew Sullivan, Dyn fellow and chair of the Internet Architecture Board on the Internet Outage announcement mailing list, the attack is being made against "the Dyn managed DNS infrastructure, which is the anycast deployment." This is the service that major companies use to make sure their DNS services work smoothly. Without these services -- think of them as the internet's master phonebook -- you can't easily find websites.