Hours after most major cell phone providers in the United States suffered widespread service disruptions, a massive DDoS attack is starting to take some of the biggest sites on the internet. According to the outage-tracking website Downdetector, sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch have all been impacted by the attack.
This DDoS attack is serious. It has taken down Instagram, Facebook, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Twitch.... 2020 is something else. pic.twitter.com/ztU59XMWu3— Jordan Daley (@JDaIey) June 15, 2020
A DDoS – or distributed denial-of-service – attack uses multiple systems to target the bandwidth of web servers, pushing them to max capacity. In layman's terms, the attack simulates major influxes of traffic to well-known websites that eventually causes disruptions to service, or flat-out renders said websites and other web-based services inoperable.
The attack has also caught the eyes of some on Capitol Hill, like Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA). In a tweet shortly after news of the multiple DDoS attacks surfaced, the congressman chastised the Trump administration's response to cybersecurity. "In light of this DDoS attack, your reminder that @realDonaldTrump eliminated the cybersecurity coordinator position at the NSC in 2018, Lieu tweeted. "And in 2019 at least a dozen high-level officials resigned from cybersecurity mission established under Obama."
In light of this DDoS attack, your reminder that @realDonaldTrump eliminated the cybersecurity coordinator position at the NSC in 2018. And in 2019 at least a dozen high-level officials resigned from cybersecurity mission established under Obama. https://t.co/ocKc2Mzdoz https://t.co/TfpRRll2MO— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 15, 2020
One of the primary social media channels of the hacker collective Anonymous also confirmed a DDoS attack is in effect.
DDoS attacks are far from rare, though they've never quite been as widespread as the one currently underway. In fact, one recent survey by the Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company suggested at least one-third of American businesses that participated in the survey suffered from a DDoS attack at one point.
Cover photo by Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images