Companies, including Alabama media, targeted in cyber-attack - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Companies, including Alabama media, targeted in cyber-attack

(Source: Raycom) (Source: Raycom)
(WAFF) -

A widespread attack targeting the east coast has impacted a number of online companies across the country.

Websites impacted include Twitter, Spotify and Reddit.

READ MORE: US internet repeatedly disrupted by cyberattacks on key firm

AL.com, a statewide media company, was also targeted. The company's website is now operational after at least 6 hours offline. 


AL.com’s parent company, Advance Publications, has its headquarters in New York City, New York.

A tweet from AL.com references an update from Dyn, an internet performance management company.

Dyn posted an update this morning on its website:

Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21st-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure. Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time. Updates will be posted as information becomes available.

Raycom Media stations were also impacted by the outage. Services for our mobile streaming, covered by the company Livestream, were crippled by the attack.

Sites began to return to normal operations on Friday afternoon.

Matt Holmes with Huntsville’s GigaParts store weighed in on what happened. He said hackers overwhelmed the server, causing the error message folks saw on Twitter, Spotify, Reddit, and many other websites throughout the day.

"It seemed like it was more of a pure disruption,” Holmes said. “They flooded the internet service provider that does the DNS, flooding them with a bunch of requests to go to sites so it overwhelmed the server."

Officials call it "Internet vandalism."

It;'s not yet known who was behind it. Holmes it’s impossible to say as of Friday night.

"It could be simple just kids trying to do stuff and seeing how much conflict they can raise across the internet,” Holmes said. “Or it could be China trying to attack and gather as much information as possible."

The Department of Homeland Security is investigating.

But until the culprits are identified, Holmes recommends keeping an eye on all online accounts. He advises staying on top of the news to find out if you need to take any action or change your passwords. Those steps aren't necessary now, but he said you should change then anyway if it eases your mind. He said it's a good idea to do that every once in awhile anyway.

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