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Do you remember that thing? It was the panic of the week last fall. Some jerks took large portions of the internet down for a couple hours. Everyone was in a tizzy for a bit. Well, the problem is still there. At least now nobody’s in a flail-your-arms panic over it, so maybe it’s worth discussing solutions.
Since there’s very little reason to remember the panic of the day even a week later, let me remind you how this works. A couple years back “Internet of Things” became the fashionable buzzword, so we all went out and bought WiFi enabled toasters. Now you can start toasting automatically when your alarm clock goes off. The fact that your toast will be ice cold by your seventh snooze is a small price to pay for living in The Future! But when you got your FutureToast, you didn’t bother to change the default password (it’s a hassle and if you did you’d forget the new one and what’s the worst that could happen anyway?) Mr. Nefarious Hacker sees that you’ve got a FutureToast, and he can log into it too. With your toaster and the 13,000 other ones that nobody’s changed the passwords on (and the 3300 GarageNoMores, and 4200 BlindsWithScience, and 132 HubCapConnects) he’s got access to a massive number internet connected devices. Mr. Nefarious Hacker can then use them to form punishing denial of service attacks, making the internet useless to the rest of us.