Security analyst shares warning about ease of cyberattacks

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 21, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST:  To Morgan Wright now, cyber-security analyst, expert on these matters.

Morgan, how do they do this, whoever ultimately we find to have been behind it?  How do they do it?


Neil, the way it's transitioned, in 2000, I was leading a team.  We actually responded to the first denial of service attacks back in February of 2000.  Fast-forward now.  Now we have the Internet of things.  Now we have DVRs.  Now we have Web-enabled cameras.

You're taking a lot of these things which have poor security, Neil, you're connecting them together, and now you're creating an army of ants that is launching a tidal wave of these kind of attacks.  So, it's not that tough to do.

You just go out and you just start taking over cameras, DVR.  The largest denial of service attack recorded prior to today just happened in France a couple weeks ago, one gigabyte of traffic per second.

Think about the original denial of service attack, Neil, only took a few megabytes.  This thing is orders of magnitude, thousands of times bigger than what it was 15 years ago.

CAVUTO:  So they work somehow, not all the time, but maybe in a couple of these cases, through your -- if you have security cameras in your home, and then what?  How does that then lead to this -- to everything else?

WRIGHT:  Yes, see, like, a lot of folks have Web cameras.  They have DVRs which are connected to the Internet.

CAVUTO:  Right.

WRIGHT:  Anything that is one of these Internet of things, they actually, because they can get to the Internet, they can serve up these same Web requests.

So I just overwhelm a site or I just overwhelm a place.  I point a bunch of traffic at it.  And it can't handle the incoming traffic, so it just chokes, until they figure out how to cut off these addresses.  They start identifying where it's coming from, shutting off those pipes that it's coming in.

But, Neil, all of these devices that we have now in our homes, these Web cameras, these connected refrigerators, you name it, anything that can be connected to the Internet is being compromised and being used to launch these kinds of attacks.

CAVUTO:  Now, we always mention and hear the name Russia come up, mainly because of the WikiLeaks thing and other e-mails and other campaign stuff that has been broken into, presumably by the Russians.

WRIGHT:  Right.

CAVUTO:  Does this sound or look like a lot their fingerprints or could this be more involved?

WRIGHT:  It's too early to tell.

And the question is, what that's motivation?  I don't know.  We have been pretty quick -- and some of the evidence shows Russia has been involved in a lot of the other things.

Here, the question is, what's the purpose?  Is it to take certain sites offline?  You take Twitter offline or you take Facebook offline, just the calls to the emergency assistance lines are going to go up.  That's about it.  It's not life-threatening.

I'm more concerned about the life-threatening things, the black energy attacks.  Now, if you combine this with the ability to take out emergency communications or even social media communications, a lot of things happen over social media when there's things, when we had Orlando, San Bernardino, terrorist attacks, tornadoes.

CAVUTO:  That's right.

WRIGHT:  We use those things to communicate.  So, it could be a targeted attack around those things too.

CAVUTO:  Morgan Wright, you're a genius, young man.  Thank you very much.

WRIGHT:  Hardly.


CAVUTO:  A cyber-security analyst extraordinaire.  All right.

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