By Bonnie Adams,? Managing Editor
Westborough – Last August Westborough was named as the “digital” capital of Massachusetts. At the time, Google, together with local and state officials, recognized the town for its many small businesses that used a variety of websites, blogs, and social media to get their message out.
Recently however, disruptions in the Internet service provided by Verizon have hampered this digital community. Users are complaining of frequent Internet disruptions typically in the late afternoon. Our informal poll has shown that the problem is not isolated to one section of town, but rather is scattered throughout the whole town.
After hearing from many exasperated businesses and residents who were unable to get the problem fixed by reaching out to Verizon, town officials contacted the company's local representatives to try to get a resolution.
According to Phil Santoro, of Verizon Media Relations, the problem stems from a “Denial of Service” (DoS) attack that took place on a residential customer's computer. This attack used enough system capacity to affect a large number of customers throughout the town.
According to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) a DoS attack is done as a way to “attempt to prevent legitimate users from accessing information or services. By targeting your computer and its network connection, or the computers and network of the sites you are trying to use, an attacker may be able to prevent you from accessing email, websites, online accounts (banking, etc.), or other services that rely on the affected computer.”
“One of our residential customers received a Denial of Service (DOS) attack. Someone deliberately flooded that customer with an overwhelming amount of traffic that rendered their Internet service inoperable,” Santoro said. “When that happened, it caused Internet service to periodically slow down for other customers in Westborough. We are working to restore service to normal as soon as possible. ”
The problem is an ever increasing one, he said.
“It's important to remind Internet users to keep their firewalls operating and to keep their security software current,” he added.
For more information visit http://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST04-015.