Cablevision: We Neutralized A Major Internet Attack

Cablevision Systems experienced a disruptive, coordinated Internet attack on Tuesday night but successfully recovered from it, the cable operator said.

The New York-area MSO said it was alerting customers about a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the Optimum Online network during the evening hours Tuesday night. Cablevision said the event began at approximately 6 p.m. Eastern Tuesday and was resolved shortly after midnight, when all service returned to normal operation.

In a distributed denial of service attack, an attacker takes control of individual computers and instructs them to send huge amounts of data to a website or send spam to particular email addresses, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Computer Emergency Readiness Team. That renders the targeted systems virtually unusable.

According to Cablevision, the DDoS attack Tuesday night "caused a disruptive increase in automated requests on a portion of the network," which affected the ability of some customers to access certain websites and other Internet services.

Cablevision said it is continuing to investigate the cause of the DDoS attack. As of Sept. 30, the operator had 2.95 million broadband customers.