How the Internet Survived Massive DNS Attack

Today's topics include the reasons why a massive denial-of-service attack didn't shut down the internet, the federal indictment that charges a Russian man with a 2012 breach of Dropbox as well as a hack of LinkedIn, why Dell believes virtual reality and voice recognition technology will help drive future PC sales, and Cumulus Networks' new online marketplace for its Linux-based networking operating system.

Early in the morning on Oct. 21, multiple big-name sites, including Twitter, Spotify and GitHub, experienced slowdowns as a distributed denial-of-service attack against Domain Name System services took shape.

The initial attack was focused against DNS provider DynDNS, starting at approximately 7:10 a.m. EDT and two more attacks hit in successive waves. While the attack against DynDNS impacted users on the East Coast of the United States, it did not shut down the internet. In fact, the attack didn't even shut down all of DynDNS. That's because the DNS is a highly distributed system that is globally available through a network of root, authoritative and recursive name servers.

When DynDNS first started to experience problems, it was possible for affected websites to change their name servers to ones that weren't under attack.

The U.S. Department of Justice revealed on Oct. 21 that the individual first apprehended by Czech police on Oct. 5 in connection with the 2012 breach of LinkedIn is actually allegedly responsible for two of the largest breaches of that year.

When Czech police first publicly disclosed that they had apprehended an individual in connection with the LinkedIn breach, few details were made public and even the name of the arrested individual was withheld. That changed on Oct. 21, with the DOJ publicly unsealing an indictment against 29-year-old Yevgeniy Nikulin.

According to the indictment, not only did Nikulin breach LinkedIn, but he also breached Dropbox, as well as Formspring, in 2012. The indictment also states Nikulin had two co-conspirators, though neither is formally named by the DOJ.

The focus of last week's Dell EMC World 2016 show was largely on enterprise IT, which shouldn't come as a surprise given the newly combined company's strengths in such areas as servers, data storage, virtualization and the cloud. But officials with Dell Technologies made sure to stress that personal computers continue to be a crucial part of the company's end-to-end strategy despite the continued shrinking global market for PCs.

In fact, CEO Michael Dell noted during his keynote address in Austin, Texas, that the company has gained PC market share for 15 consecutive quarters.

Emerging technologies such as speech and gesture recognition, virtual reality and augmented reality will change significantly how users interact with their PCs, helping to drive sales of new PCs, Jeff Clarke, vice chairman of operations and president of Client Solutions at Dell, told journalists attending a roundtable discussion at the show.

Cumulus Networks is launching an online marketplace that features products created by third parties that are built on the vendor's Linux-based networking operating system. The Cumulus Networks Solutions Marketplace is a central repository for a broad range of offerings and makes it easier for network and cloud engineers to standardize their system architectures by helping to build out a community-led lineup of products.

"The Solutions Marketplace is a repository of community-submitted projects, user space applications, automation scripts, and extensions to Cumulus Linux," Andrius Benokraitis, strategic alliance manager at Cumulus, wrote in a post on the company blog. "This enables collaboration and fosters innovation through a common platform to develop upon openly and freely using Cumulus VX."