A lot of these attacks are starting to sound like something out of a science fiction novel.

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science fiction novel.>

giants like Twitter, Netflix, Amazon, PayPal and more. Many asking, how

could so many companies go down? The answer found in a strategic target.

Hackers aiming their attack at a company called Dyn that acts almost like

the address book and switchboard operator of the internet.>

GADI SCHWARTZ: Good morning, Stephanie. A lot of these attacks are starting to sound like something out of a science fiction novel. And this one, hackers are hijacking millions of online connecting devices, things like DVRs, cameras-- even baby monitors-- and then they are launching them into cyber war.

(Begin VT)

GADI SCHWARTZ: The attacks came in three waves, taking down a long list of website giants like Twitter, Netflix, Amazon, PayPal and more. Many asking, how could so many companies go down? The answer found in a strategic target. Hackers aiming their attack at a company called Dyn that acts almost like the address book and switchboard operator of the internet. This time, security experts say hackers deployed the latest weapon in cyber warfare-- a virus that infects millions of internet connected devices like DVRs or even baby monitors, turns them into a virtual army of cyber bot slaves, and uses them to send so many information requests, that a system like Dyn is overwhelmed and crashes.

BOB SULLIVAN (Teach Journalist): It seems crazy that a baby monitor or a DVR could topple Amazon or Twitter, right? But that`s exactly what`s happening here. An army of baby monitors can assemble enough power to knock over some of the most important companies in the world.

GADI SCHWARTZ: Experts say companies are manufacturing electronic devices with weak default passwords, making them extremely vulnerable.

ALLISON NIXON (Dir. of Security Research, Flashpoint): The fact that companies can make hundreds of thousands of devices and put them on the internet and have their entire product line turn into a botnet and start attacking the United States, is kind of a problem.

GADI SCHWARTZ: So far, there is a lot of speculation on who is to blame. But a senior U.S. intelligence official now telling NBC News this is a classic case of internet vandalism and it does not appear to be a state- sponsored attack. What is clear, a new weapon has been deployed, as companies and countries try to prepare for the possibility of cyber war.

(End VT)

GADI SCHWARTZ: Experts tell us a lot of the devices that are used in attacks like these are located in Vietnam. Right now, the Department of Homeland Security as well as the FBI are investigating. Stephanie, back to you.

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Thanks, Gadi.

CRAIG MELVIN: Testimony will resume Monday in New Jersey in the Bridgegate trial. The big question: did Governor Chris Christie know about the George Washington Bridge closures? He says he didn`t. But during testimony on Friday, one of his former aides insists he did. NBC`s Tammy Leitner is here with more on that. Tammy, good morning to you.

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