No one can underestimate the risk of cyber-attacks when millions of smart devices are flooding the market. The state of security on these things is pretty atrocious which make them an easy target by hackers. Although authorities kept on denying possibility of large-scale attacks, this actually took down large percentage of the internet today.
The reason is obviously the large scale use of connected devices, but this is how it actually happens.
In order to attack a central server, several machines are used for the distributed denial of service attack (DDoS). Only few of the appropriate requests are allowed to pass through the server and it obstructs the others. In this time, a message is received indicating connection isn’t possible when a user tries to contact to the server.
The attack carried out was an extreme case; the reason for it was that the hacker went after Dyn instead of going after individual servers at bigger websites such as Twitter, Github, and Reddit. Dyn is basically the domain name system (DNS) provider, which is accountable for turning the internet protocol (IP) address into an understandable website such as thenextweb.com rather than presenting strings of numbers and periods.
The hackers reached the connected devices such as smart hubs, routers, smart locks, thermostats to attack Dyn. Due to immense increase in activity, most of the servers were unable to pass on the request. This resulted in the devices to start attacking the websites they usually work for. A large percentage of the internet in this way went down with DynDNS taking along every site by means of its managed DNS system.