Security experts have warned that yesterday’s internet crash that took major sites offline could be just the tip of the iceberg.
An outage at a little known firm that speeds up access to websites knocked several top internet destinations offline on Tuesday, disrupting business and leisure for countless millions globally.
Millions of users across the globe reported difficulties attempting to access web pages, with Netflix, Twitch and news websites including the BBC, Guardian, CNN and the New York Times hit by the problem.
The dilemma was caused by the US firm Fastly, a content delivery network (CDN) company that helps users view website content more quickly.
The dilemma was quickly fixed, and the company blamed a configuration error in its technology.
But the incident raises questions about how exposed the global internet is to more serious disruption.
San Francisco based Fastly’s edge server computing technology is used by several of the world’s most popular websites, such as The New York Times, Shopify, Ticketmaster, Pinterest, Etsy, Wayfair and Stripe. The British government is amongst its clients.
The company provides a content delivery network, an arrangement that allows customers websites to store data such as images and videos on various mirror servers across 26 countries so that the data is closer to users, and therefore shows up faster.
David Warburton, of the cybersecurity company F5 Labs, said centralisation was somewhat new for the internet, and would presumably continue to raise concerns.
He told a news outlet that the web as a whole was designed to be decentralised and that by not relying on anyone’s central system, it meant that many different components could fail and internet traffic could still find a way to get where it needed to go.
He said that what they’ve seen over the past decade, however, is the unintentional centralisation of many core services through large cloud solution providers like infrastructure vendors and CDN’s.
Former deputy national security adviser for intelligence security between 2014 and 2018, Paddy McGuinness, said yesterday’s incident should serve as a wake-up call, and the Government should expand the current security approach.
He said that they need resilience as an explicit policy goal, particularly on the new networks they’re building to deliver services to the citizen, and that a secure by design and default mantra was welcome but it wasn’t enough in itself.
But people are sick to death of hearing this futile pointless expression, that lessons will and must be learnt because they never are, and it’s just said to make everyone feel better.
This should also be a wake-up call because ultimately, currencies will become digital, with the eradication of cash, which is absolute craziness, but it’s a great way to control the population in this new dystopian nightmare.
And this might seem like a trivial problem that knocked several websites offline for a short time, but it actually occurs frequently – maybe on a smaller scale, but this could become and probably will become a melodrama.
The actual problem is the Cloud. It’s not just that you can only access it with the internet, but ultimately the data people are storing is in a handful of global locations, all of which could be taken out at once, including the backups.
So, if they want to attack a country or a continent – attack its Cloud and it’s defenceless in seconds, and if people knew how fragile the modern internet was they’d be terrified because the Cloud is phenomenal right up to the point where it isn’t and then it’s a catastrophe.