It’s December — that time of the year when
many industry experts make all sorts of
predictions for the year ahead. But one
prophecy caught Business Insider’s eye: the
whole internet will shut down for 24 hours.
The dire forecast comes from US technology
security vendor LogRhythm. According to the
company’s chief information security officer
and vice president James Carder, it won’t just
be a technical issue stopping people from
uploading their selfies on Instagram.
“In 2017, we’re going to see it hit big
sometime, somewhere. If the internet goes
down, financial markets will tank,” he said.
The security expert told Business Insider that
all the signs were there this year, with
criminals “testing missiles by shooting them
into the ocean”.
“We saw the massive [distributed denial of
service] against DynDNS just a couple of
months ago. That DDoS attack took down
sites like Twitter and Spotify for a few hours.
We saw a similar DDoS hit Brian Krebs before
the attack against Dyn. These were really just
tests,” he said.
“If you can prove that you can take down
massive sites and a large chunk of the US
internet for a few hours, a 24-hour outage
seems pretty easy to do?”
Carder also predicted the “fake news” issue
would only get worse, with hackers targetting
major media sites like CNN and Fox News.
“The power of influence is starting to shift
away from main stream news outlets and I
don’t think that is something those main
stream outlets can afford to let happen. They
will respond to the fake news threat by trying
to implement some level of media control
that will likely take it a little too far,” he said,
citing Facebook’s post-election efforts.
“I think hackers, in the name of protecting
our freedom of speech, will retaliate by
knocking down a major media outlet or two.”
Australian executive Simon Howe predicted
that ransomware on mobile devices would
become far more prevalent in the new year,
to extort money from unsuspecting
“Attackers will target consumers and hold
their personal data hostage. For example,
attackers will threaten to send out or delete a
user’s photos unless a ransom is paid. Just
think — how much would you pay to recover
your photos?” said Howe, LogRhythm’s ANZ
director of sales.
“Attackers will use pre-authenticated tokens
to disseminate malware. Because so many Apple devices are interconnected, the malware could very quickly spread.”
LogRhythm, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, is a company specialising in security information and event management (SIEM) software that has a global presence, including Australia.