There has been a cyberattack and we have no idea

There has been a cyberattack and we have no idea

It was last week, in the morning hours of Dec. 16, when the first cyberattack started. These attacks continued until Dec. 21 with some interruptions. 

The target of the cyberattacks was all internet traffic and frankly it was quite successful, as internet traffic slowed down nationwide. 

Yes, this was the first cyberattack in our history. Maybe those who are in the business knew all about it but the general public learned about this cyberattack through a statement that was released after everything happened.

As a matter of fact, the attack Turkey experienced is the type the United States goes through almost every day. But there is, however, a difference between them. In the United States or anywhere else in the world, these attacks are generally directed to specific companies or certain websites. 

On the other hand, Turkey was attacked nationwide; the target of the attack was web sites with the extension “.tr” in them. According to data provided by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK), in Turkey there are approximately 370,000 websites with a “.tr” extension.

The general name of the attack toward Turkey is a “DDoS attack.” Under this general name there are quite a number of types but they have a common feature that is quite simple: Some people from some places create extraordinary traffic as if they want to enter a certain website, a series of websites or the websites of an entire country. Because of this artificial traffic, those who genuinely want to go into a website or websites because they have business related to them either can absolutely not enter any of them or encounter a very serious slowdown.    

Let me give you this piece of information to better understand the size of the attack Turkey was exposed to: Turkey is connected to the global internet with more than one fiber optic cables. These cables have a capacity of carrying 40 gigabytes of information per second. In other words, every second they can carry roughly 40 billion bytes of information.  

Think of this as a highway that has 40 billion lanes. Well, this 40 billion-lane, more-than-one highway that provides Turkey’s internet connection with the world was loaded with incredible traffic starting on Dec. 16. This traffic exceeded 200 gigabytes per second from time to time. 

Of course when there is such traffic congestion, naturally, the road was jammed, the traffic started to slow down. If you have encountered multiple cases of slowing down in your internet connection in the past week (I have) it was exactly because of this. 

Well, who attacked Turkey? We do not know this but based on the political tension nowadays and the country’s past behavior, everybody is suspecting Russia.

One may be suspicious of Russia but actually there are such groups in the world who call themselves “internet pirates” that with a price tag of about $150 per week, you can buy such attacks from.

Of course, the cyberattack toward Turkey was one of the biggest that has been seen, thus it could not have been done so cheaply, but I have said what I mean: These kinds of businesses are not necessarily handled by the states themselves any longer.