According to LogRhythm chief information security officer and vice president, James Carder, the cause will not simply be a technical glitch that stops internet users uploading selfies on Instagram. It’s going to be a large-scale cyberattack.
“In 2017, we’re going to see it hit big sometime, somewhere,” Mr Carder told Business Insider “If the internet goes down, financial markets will tank.”
According to the security expert, there were signs throughout 2016 that online criminals were “testing missiles, by shooting them into the ocean.”
“We saw the massive DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) against DynDNS just a couple of months ago,” he added.
“That DDoS attack took down sites like Twitter and Spotify for a few hours. We saw a similar DDoS hit Brian Krebs before the attack against Dyn.
The entire internet will shutdown for 24 hours next year, security vendor LogRhythm has predicted
“If you can prove that you can take down massive sites and a large chunk of the US internet for a few hours, a 24-hour outage seems pretty easy to do.”
Mr Carder also speculated that the prevalence of fake news online would only get worse throughout 2017 and that cyber hackers would increasingly target major mainstream news sources, like CNN and Fox News.
“They will respond to the fake-news threat by trying to implement some level of media control that will likely take it a little too far.
“I think hackers, in the name of protecting our freedom of speech, will retaliate by knocking down a major media outlet or two.”
LogRhythm is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado.
The US firm specialises in security information and event management software across the globe.