Update: Many experts have discredited the claims that a DDoS attack is underway. T-Mobile's outages, combined with misleading graphics shared by an account claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous seem to have led to widespread confusion online. More info can be found here.
Original Story: It appears that the U.S. is might be the target of a large-scale DDoS attack. This type of attack, which means distributed denial-of-service, is meant to overwhelm an online service with traffic from multiple sources, rendering it unusable. Now, several outlets have reported on Monday that numerous attacks are coming from countries across the world.
Netscout, which bills itself as "a global cybersecurity situational awareness platform that provides organizations with highly contextualized visibility into 'over the horizon' threat activity on the landscape," cited more than 200 such attacks directed to the U.S. Similar, Digital Attack Map showed a substantial number aimed at the U.S. as well as Brazil. The latter was cited by an account claiming to be a part of the covert internet group known as Anonymous. That account's claimed that the U.S. was currently under attack, and the claims went viral.
Jordan Daley, the CMO of Orbit also tweeted about the attack, again citing Digital Attack Map. It also reports that major sites, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitch, as well as T-Mobile and Verizon, have been impacted directly.
While the source is still unknown, a handful of politicians have also commented on the alleged DDoS attack. This included Rep. Ted Lieu, who pointed out that President Donald Trump had effectively dismantled much of the country's cybersecurity infrastructure in recent years. It also happens that this particular round of DDoS attacks come at a particularly tumultuous time in the U.S. The country as a whole is still gripped by a global pandemic, while Civil Rights protests across the country have entered their third week, calling for an end to police brutality and a drastic reformation of police departments.
DDoS attacks aren't exactly rare, and even Netscout's own site points out that the U.S. is much more often the source of such actions and not the recipient. However, it is unusual to have one of such a large scale. Back in March of 2019, a similar attack occurred, which ended up making some users Facebook unable to access for a period of time. Although it didn't stop anyone from making jokes about it on whatever social media site they were able to access at the time.