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Late last month, popular websites like Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and Pay Pal went down for most of a day.
The distributed denial-of-service attack that caused the outages, and the vulnerabilities that made the attack possible, was as much a failure of market and policy as it was of technology.
The sellers of those devices don't care: They've already moved on to selling newer and better models.
There is no market solution because the insecurity primarily affects other people. And, like pollution, the only solution is to regulate.
The botnet bombarded Dyn with traffic, so much that it went down. Your security on the Internet depends on the security of millions of Internet-enabled devices, designed and sold by companies you've never heard of to consumers who don't care about your security.
The technical reason these devices are insecure is complicated, but there is a market failure at work.
• November 10, 2016 AM @Bruce FYI, the em-dashes from the Wa Po article are missing here, making certain sentences look odd.
I wonder which government organization would be the most appropriate one to be tasked with such a responsibility. • November 10, 2016 AM We've been concerned about this for some time.
It's true that this is a domestic solution to an international problem and that there's no U. regulation that will affect, say, an Asian-made product sold in South America, even though that product could still be used to take down U. If the United States and perhaps a few other major markets implement strong Internet-security regulations on Io T devices, manufacturers will be forced to upgrade their security if they want to sell to those markets.
These devices don't get security updates like our more expensive computers, and many don't even have a way to be patched.
And, unlike our computers and phones, they stay around for years and decades.
We don't know who perpetrated that attack, but it could have easily been a lone hacker.
Whoever it was launched a distributed denial-of-service attack against Dyn by exploiting a vulnerability in large numbers — possibly millions — of Internet-of-Things devices like webcams and digital video recorders, then recruiting them all into a single botnet.
Tags: denial of service, DNS, economics of security, Internet of things, laws, software liability Posted on November 10, 2016 at AM • 63 Comments • November 10, 2016 AM How to have regulation / liability without giving vendors a excuse to lock out owners from modifying their devices under the pretence of "security"?