DDoS attacks against financial firms and banks sees huge rise

Close of computer hacking
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Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are a growing problem around the world, but organizations in Europe are particularly feeling the sting, new research has found.

A report from the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) and Akamai, claim the number of DDoS attacks against financial firms increased by almost a quarter (22%) year-on-year. 

Analyzing the period between November 2021 and November 2022, the researchers found that in Europe alone, the number of DDoS attacks rose by almost three-quarters (73%), making it the region with the highest rise. Of all the DDoS attacks that happened in Europe in this timeframe, roughly half targeted financial institutions.

Crime and hacktivism

DDoS attacks work by sending so many bogus traffic requests to the target website that the server simply can’t handle it all and freezes, crashes, or otherwise becomes unable to provide its services to legitimate customers.

To run a DDoS attack, the criminals need an army of internet-connected devices to send these bogus traffic requests, usually called a botnet. To integrate a device into the botnet, crooks usually infect it with malware. Anything from smart home speakers to routers, can be used as part of the botnet. 

Sometimes, threat actors use DDoS attacks as an extortion tactic, promising to stop the assault if a payment is made. In other cases, they use it as a distraction, to run a more destructive attack while the IT team is busy repelling bogus traffic. DDoS is seen as one of the primary weapons in any hacktivist’s arsenal.

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.