Over the weekend, Charter Communications -- an ISP competing with Comcast and AT&T -- was attacked with a Distributed Denial of Service attack. This resulted in widespread outages for Charter customers around the United States, both residential and business. The details of the attack have not been released, but multiple sources are reporting this is likely due to a coordinated attack by middle-east hackers, possibly the terrorist group ISIS.

From a business perspective, this is a large impact. However, workarounds are available (thanks to Google's free public DNS servers). Internally, we had at least one client impacted by this outage. Third-party outage reporting aggregate, Down Detector, created the below graphic illustrating the likely impact of this attack. The red areas were even more widespread over the weekend.

image001Frustratingly but understandably, Charter Communications has been quiet about this -- releasing little to no information.

What you need to know:

  • Please be advised of this situation, particularly if you have experienced outages or have Charter as an Internet Service Provider (ISP). 
  • Foreign interests can and do target local service companies. Even if your business is not a direct target, your service providers can be. Keep this in mind in conversations about disaster planning.
  • Redundant Internet (more costly) and redundant DNS (free) services are a very good thing. Either or both of these would prevent outages from this kind of attack.

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Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.