The WHIR recently ran an article entitled, “Report: Short DDoS Attacks Can Have Lasting Security Impact,” in which they delved into the security risks of short DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks.
Typically, what we’ll see on web hosting forums are OP’s (original posters) asking about levels of protections. On the other side of the coin, what we see routinely advertised is either DDoS protection services citing no specifications or something like 20 Gbps protection. The prevailing trend is that more, for example, 50 Gbps protection is better, and it is for specific types of attacks, but not all.
Has your business been the victim of a Trojan Horse?
I’ve never read any discussion of security risks posed by short DDoS attacks, which makes this article so interesting. As the article lays out, short, low-volume attacks can act as Trojan Horses, allowing cybercriminals to disseminate harmful malware.
In this scenario, the goal of these types of attacks is to obstruct IPS (intrusion prevention systems) and firewalls, distracting that business’s IT security personnel long enough for them to install their malware and pilfer their data.
Just how prevalent are these types of attacks?
According to Corero, over 70% typically lasted under ten minutes and nearly the same percentage were under 1 Gbps. The reasoning for this is conjectured to be that these cybercriminals don’t want to show their hands via large scale attacks that could cripple a website. Why not? It allows them an avenue to test for vulnerabilities at little risk of being detected.
Getting in and out avoiding detection – the reality of most cloud based DDoS solutions
The article points out that the majority of cloud-based protections won’t even identify DDoS attacks lasting under ten minutes. The consequence? Cybercriminals are able to sow their damage, and get in and then back out without raising any eyebrows or security concerns. It’s theorized that this tactic could be utilized as a testing ground preceding later full-scale attacks.
The stakes in Europe get raised this upcoming year
Like everyone else who tracks these types of events, we’ve become accustomed to hearing about breaches of security, but defending your business against data theft throughout Europe poses (potential) severe penalties as the EU’s policy, GDPR goes into effect next May.
Ok, so how often do these types of attacks actually occur?
According to Corero, organizations are currently victims of these types of attacks, on average, four times a day. Think about that number for a second because it equates to almost 1500 attacks per year! And these types of attacks are growing every quarter. Between fourth quarter 2016 and first quarter 2017, it’s reported they grew by 9%, with the majority of those low in volume and short in duration. Conversely, attacks greater than 10 Gbps grew over fifty percent during that same time duration.
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