Internet News RoundUp: Breaking the Internet, the Arrival of the Metaverse, and the Rise of DDoS Attacks

Jul 02, 2021By Subspace Team

TL;DR

Last month, we were reminded how easy it is to take down the internet and watched in-flight connectivity competition come to life.

Estimated read time: 4 minutes


It’s been a busy few weeks for internet news. We’ve seen stories highlighting weaknesses in today’s internet, increasing DDoS attacks, and analysis of how well networks handled the surge in traffic caused by the pandemic and stay-at-home orders.

But we’ve also seen exciting stories about the growing interest in buying and selling NFTs, the arrival of the Metaverse age, and the future of in-flight internet (could we be raiding in World of Warcraft while flying from Newark to Dallas in a few years?).

Let’s dive in.

One single CDN user took down the internet this week

From: Mashable

Read Time: 2 minutes

TLDR: Remember that morning at the start of June when some of the world’s biggest websites went down? The cause: a single content delivery network (CDN) service customer changing their network settings.

Yes. All it took to break the internet was one Fastly customer triggering an undiscovered software bug that the provider had unwittingly introduced in a May software update. As a result, we saw errors across 85% of Fastly’s network, stopping sites like Amazon and CNN from loading.

Thankfully most issues were resolved within an hour, but this whole ordeal highlights the need for customers to move away from traditional, legacy CDNs to more robust, reliable services.

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The day the internet died: What the Fastly outage shows us on how the Internet can let you down

From: NewsLaundry

Read Time: 3 minutes

TLDR: NewsLaundry also examined the Fastly fiasco but took a broader approach. This story focuses on the vast and complex skeleton of the internet, highlighting the many possible points of failure other than CDNs: cloud service providers, data centers, internet exchange points, cables, and more.

They say what’s most concerning is the consolidation of the internet’s backbone across three vendors: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. The more centralized the internet is, the less resilient and more susceptible to catastrophic failures it becomes. They argue this trend needs to be halted or, better still, reversed.

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NFTs and the Metaverse: The internet enters a new phase

From: CBS News

Read Time: 3 minutes

TLDR: A 60 Minutes+ report highlighted the growing value of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens; one-of-a-kind digital items that can take the form of anything from memes and videos to avatars and photos. Even Sir Tim Berners-Lee is getting in on the action, as he plans to sell the original source code for the World Wide Web as an NFT.

Some compare buying NFTs to collecting art or property: investments, but in the form of digital memorabilia. Proof of ownership is possible through blockchain technology, which provides a permanent digital ledger of who owns what in the virtual world.

According to 60 Minutes+, NFTs are a part of the “Metaverse” age, something we’re excited to help accelerate.

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Did 2020 Break the Internet?

From: LAWFARE

Read Time: 4 Minutes

TLDR: The pandemic undeniably presented the most significant stress test for the internet to date, but did it pass or fail? LAWFARE puts this up for discussion, highlighting the competing narratives from network engineers and end-users.

According to the former, the internet proved its resilience by handling surging traffic from people spending both their workdays and downtime online. On the flip side, users reported significant degradation from the congestion of last-mile networks and strained capacity of edge providers, with reports of an uptick in packet loss and latency values.

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SpaceX VP says Starlink is almost ready to revolutionize in-flight internet

From: Teslarati

Read Time: 3 minutes

TLDR: In-flight connectivity (IFC) providers are likely paying close attention after a SpaceX exec let slip that they are in talks with several airlines to provide in-flight internet via its low earth orbit (LEO) Starlink satellite constellation. It’s easier for SpaceX to deliver far more bandwidth to a single aircraft since Starlink operates 50 times closer to the Earth than its competitors’ (much smaller) constellations.

Tests have already shown bandwidth of more than 600 Mbps to a single military aircraft in flight. In comparison, the most cutting-edge terminal from competitor Gogo currently promises speeds of 70+ Mbps–which, according to Teslarati, is “an order of magnitude less bandwidth saddled with massive latency constraints.”

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100% increase in daily DDoS traffic in 2020 as potential grows for 10 Tbps attack: Nokia

From: ZDNet

Read Time: 2 minutes

TLDR: Nokia Deepfield has reported a 100% increase in peak daily DDoS traffic between Jan 2020 and May 2021. The organization’s analysis found a massive increase in high bandwidth, volumetric DDoS attacks, the majority of which originate from approximately 50 hosting companies. Researchers also discovered evidence of DDoS attacks with a threat potential of over 10 Tbps—up to five times higher than the largest attacks reported to date.

Deepfield’s CTO said the DDoS growth curve is exponential due to the growth of IoT and cloud, which are dramatically increasing the number of servers and devices that can be co-opted into DDoS attacks due to substandard or default security.

This news is a good reminder to make sure you use a network with always-on DDoS protection.

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