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Protecting yourself from cyber attacks

Posted at 6:38 PM, Oct 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-24 18:38:21-04

The widespread internet outage impacted 10s of billions of IP addresses across the globe, which included Steve MacMartin who was visiting family in Vermont.

“My initial reaction was to tell the people I was with it must be a terrorist attack,” MacMartin told 7 Eyewitness News.

“I was only half kidding but in my mind only half kidding because clearly it seemed like there was some kind of directed attack on the internet.”

The Homeland Security expert turned Medaille College professor says the massive cyber-attack was caused by malware attacking everyday devices that can connect to the internet. Those devices include closed circuit cameras, even baby monitors.

Those infected devices then overload the server causing an outage.

Although the latest attack was more of an inconvenience for users than actual damage – the expert says it’s an example of just how vulnerable our tech servers are.

“What's scary is the possibility that the attack could’ve been larger it could’ve been performed by more devices against a larger number of these internet operators so to speak .”

But MacMartin says there are things consumers can do to protect our favorite gadgets and it’s as simple as locking down your devices by creating a complex password.

This include changing the passwords on smart TVs, tablets even stereo systems.

MacMartin says this small yet powerful step works to protect you and makes hacking just a bit more difficult for those looking to do harm.