NPR – 11/2/16
The Internet can be a dangerous place. Hackers, bots and viruses are prowling the Web trying to turn your machines into zombies.
Last month, a massive network of hacked devices helped temporarily shut down Twitter and other websites. Hackers used a virus called Mirai to target Dyn, a major Internet infrastructure company, in a sophisticated denial-of-service attack — when insecure Internet-connected devices are directed to barrage a target with data until it shuts down.
Andrew McGill, a reporter at The Atlantic, devised an experiment to find out how vulnerable our devices are to hackers. He built a virtual Internet-connected toaster, put it online and waited to see how quickly it would take for hackers to attempt to breach it. They found him much faster than he expected.