Turns Out Last Friday’s Internet Outage Was Likely Caused by ‘Non-State Actors’

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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, said on Tuesday that the cyberattack that caused widespread outages last week was the result of a “non-state actor,” rather than a foreign power like Russia or China. Which is, uh, actually, sort of, scarier?

According to the Associated Press, early indications suggest that anonymous hackers perpetrated the DDoS attack, though information is still being gathered and combed through. The outage has been confirmed to be the work of the Mirai botnet, a program that hijacks thousands of Internet of Things devices in order to overload a server’s bandwidth. Members of a hacker group known as New World Hackers claimed responsibility, but the authenticity of the claim could not be verified.

In short, even a handful of people with a computer and an internet connection can disrupt traffic for millions of users across the country. Reassuring!