Since about 8pm last night - nearly twenty four hours ago - the largest NZ
telecom company, Spark, has been under a malware attack, making access to the internet (and some mobile phones) difficult, if not impossible.
Last night I could scarcely access any sites, but occasionally I have problems with connection because of "overcrowded wifi" - they tell me. I'm a bit of a hermit, I live in the woop-woop near a small fishing village and my closest neighbour is about a mile away, so I'm not sure how anything here can be "overcrowded," but that's what they say.
This morning it was no better. I could access a few sites occasionally, but mostly they either wouldn't load or would never completely load, so they were useless. I rebooted the modem and restarted the computer, several times, all to no avail.
By about mid-morning, the only site that I could access - anywhere - was a.net, even though a lot of the graphics didn't load, but then a.net joined the "can't load" club and I could only get to Google news sometimes.
I tried calling Spark, knowing they wouldn't be a lot of help, but there was a recorded message that they were aware of some access problems, but couldn't say anymore. They suggested going to the website for more information. How, exactly?
Still, it was a relief in a way - it wasn't me or my system - and I had just enough access to find out that it was a serious problem affecting the whole country:
"Spark users experience internet meltdown"
"Spark continues to battle cyber attack
The company has blamed the problems on a malware attack from Slovakia at about 8pm last night."
It's fixed - sort of - now, but I thought that about four hours ago, and then it all crashed on me again. Apparently, the attacker has been watching the fixes and than attacking them (don't ask, it's all Greek to me).
What I don't understand is why. I understand whistleblowers, believing they are doing good for the world, and I understand those who hack into accounts to get info or money. I do understand some are simply malevolent to their fellow human beings, but the scale of this surprises me, because it is so overwhelming. Happily, it's Saturday so not so many businesses are affect, but what about essential services?
It is just because the attacker can do it, to show that he/she is the king of the cyber world? Or is it simply malevolence?
I'm sure no one has an answer, but I thought ask, because it's a world that i I really don't understand.
ps: It still isn't completely fixed, and a.net is hit or miss.
[Edited 2014-09-05 23:30:28]