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Why DDoS attacks matter for journalists

Two reasons that journalists should be concerned about DDoS attacks:

First, while the use of common household devices to execute the attacks against Krebs and Dyn was novel, the hackers got control of those devices using one of the oldest and easiest methods out there: bad passwords, a vulnerability most journalists share.

The second reason journalists should attend to these attacks is that strategic use of both DDoS attacks (for example, recent attacks on Newsweek and the BBC) and DNS manipulation are common tools for censorship. This is in part because they are cheap, easy (the software credited with Friday’s attack was posted openly just a few weeks ago), and highly effective in preventing some or all internet users from accessing the content they target.

We’re at the edge of a particularly bad security chasm we’re just about to fall into (if we haven’t already!). The question is whether we can actually avoid the fall or whether the best we can do right now is lessen the hurt on the way down.