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Report: DDoS Attacks Are Becoming Extortion Attempts Rather than Activist Disruptions

Report: DDoS Attacks Are Becoming Extortion Attempts Rather than Activist Disruptions

by Samburaj DasJanuary 27, 2016

A security firm’s annual security infrastructure report details the threats facing enterprise and organizations, with DDoS attacks continuing to be a significant disruptor.

It’s a report that provides insight into the global threat landscape by detailing the most critical security challenges facing service providers, cloud hosting and other network operators in the world. In its 11th annual edition, Arbor Networks has released the Annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report with 354 participating respondents.

The complete report can be downloaded here.

The report addresses top advanced threat trends targeting network operators and enterprises.

The top trends with DDoS attacks are:

Failing firewalls: Respondents revealed that over half of their enterprise firewall solution failed as a result of a DDoS attack. In 2014, a third of the respondents claimed the failure. Firewalls are failing and that’s likely because of the next trend.

Bigger attacks: In the past decade, the largest DDoS attack has grown by more than 60 times, with the largest ever reported attack clocking at 500 Gbps. Other reported attacks through the year include bandwidths as high as 450 Gbps and 425 Gbps.

Changing causes: 2015 saw DDoS attacks predominantly launched for extortion by cybercriminals, rather than vandalism or hacktivism – an often-cited cause to launch DDoS attacks.

Cloud infrastructure attacks: In 2013, 19 percent of those polled noted DDoS attacks targeting their cloud-based services. That number grew to 29 percent in 2014 before reaching up to 33 percent in 2015. Datacenters seeing outbound attacks from their own servers went up from 24 percent to 34 percent in 2015.

Complex, crippling attacks: 56 percent of respondents pointed to multi-vector attacks or attacks that targeted multiple targets at the same time. This includes services, applications and infrastructure as targets to deal a comprehensive blow to the operations of an enterprise. This number, also grew from 42 percent in 2014.

Hacked was the target of a DDoS attack late last year, an attempt which saw the extortionist attempt to gain bitcoins in exchange for scaling back the attack. We’ve since bolstered our security infrastructure and provided a bitcoin bounty of our own to anyone who can help Hacked with information about the attacker that leads to a successful police report.

Image from Shutterstock.

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  • Az

    As well all know, a key leader with the DDoS for Bitcoin (DD4BC) group was recently arrested.

    While any attack carried out by the group could potentially take down most small and medium-sized websites, there should be little concern as long as the victim has implemented DDoS mitigation solutions. Consequently, attacks are carried out, ransoms are often not paid, and the attackers do not come back.

    Just my thoughts 😉