This cybersecurity expert was shut down by hackers

Even internet experts can get hacked.

Earlier this month, journalist and cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs' website was the target of a "distributed denial of service" attack. Though he's recovered his site, Mr. Krebs believes the incident does not bode well for the future of internet security, according to a column in the Los Angeles Times.

A DDoS attack is a common way of harming an individual website or server. Cyber criminals "flood the target with incoming traffic in such volume and from so many different sources that the legitimate traffic can't get through," according to the LA Times.

DDoSes are on the rise. Reston, Va.-based Verisign, an internet security company, said the number of DDoS attacks grew 75 percent during the first six months of 2016 compared to the first six months of 2015.

For Mr. Krebs, a former reporter for The Washington Post, the attack was far from expected. Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai Technologies hosted and provided security for Mr. Krebs' site, KrebsOnSecurity.com. When the attack — deemed the biggest DDoS attack Akamai engineers had ever witnessed — hit on Sept. 20, Akamai attempted to fend it off. But as the intensity of the attack increased, Akamai dropped Mr. Krebs' site because the attack could have affected Akamai's other customers.

Within a few hours, Mr. Krebs, who doesn't fault Akamai for dropping him, found another host for his site. Though he has not traced the DDoS to a specific group, Mr. Krebs believes it may have been initiated due to a story he wrote exposing two Israeli hackers.

"I don't know what it will take to wake the larger internet community out of its slumber to address this growing threat to free speech and eCommerce," Mr. Krebs wrote after the DDoS. "My guess is it will take an attack that endangers human lives, shuts down critical national infrastructure systems, or disrupts national elections."

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