Spark New Zealand – the country’s largest internet service provider – suffered a massive outage lasting nearly thirty hours from last Friday. The outage saw its nearly 700,000 customer base having slow or no internet connectivity on their mobile phones or computers – all because some users on their network wanted to see nude pics of celebrities.
According to local media, some users clicked on a link that claimed to contain images from the recent dump of nude photos of several high profile female celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Ariana Grande. However, the link lead them to a page telling them they had to download a piece of software to view them – which was malware.
Because, you know, some people are so fucking stupid.
Spark told the New Zealand Herald that it was a denial of service attack linked to some of its customers downloading malware was the reason why its network went down, and has taken steps to remedy the problem.
“The return to a normal browsing experience is due to a combination of, one, us taking a number of steps to mitigate the issue over the past two days, and, two, the pressure on our network, which has been coming from some customer’s devices being used in Denial of Service attacks aimed at overseas networks, subsiding,” a spokesperson told the newspaper.
“Our work has included identifying and neutralising the effect of the small number of customer connections that had been exploited by cyber criminals to send vast amount of traffic through our network to overseas destinations.”
However, it did not confirm that it was the malware linked to the nude pictures of celebrities, according to TVNZ. The company also said that it could not guarantee that it will not happen again the future because of the “dynamic” nature of the attack.
Image credits: Unplugged internet cables/Shutterstock