DDoS is fast becoming a potent weapon for cybercriminals

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(Image credit: Shutterstock / vs148)

A new report has warned that as more cybercriminals learn the potential of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, the popularity of such tactics are growing exponentially. 

Research from StormWall claims there has been a 90% increase in DDoS attacks in just 12 months, with businesses in the telecommunications sector taking the brunt of the blow, suffering almost half (43.2%) of all incidents, and also seeing a seven-fold increase compared to Q3 2021. 

StormWall speculates Covid-19 is to blame, as the pandemic drove most people into a remote working environment, meaning businesses relied on telecoms services to drive critical business processes as never before. Cybercriminals are well aware of that fact, and want to hit the businesses where it hurts most, as they launch ransomware attacks, data theft, identity theft, business email compromise attacks, and other forms of malicious activity.

Entertainment attacks dwindling as people leave homes

Entertainment was the second most attacked vertical, taking up more than a fifth (21.8%) of all attacks. This one has grown the most - 18 times - compared to Q3 2021. Still, the share of attacks on this industry is slowly dwindling, StormWall says, attributing it to the decreasing consumption of online content, following the easing of lockdowns around the world. 

With 16.3% of all attacks, fintech takes the third spot. The number of attacks grew 9 times here, over the past 12 months, with politically motivated threat actors going after Russian financial companies being the most common occurrence. This, obviously, can be attributed to the Russia - Ukraine war. 

Of all the attacks StormWall analyzed, almost three-quarters (73%) were carried out on the application layer, while 19% were packet floods directed at the network and transport layers of the OIS model. 

“We’ve been seeing an unusually high number of attacks by politically motivated actors, who put the telecom sector under fire and caused the share of incidents in the entertainment industry to reduce,” commented Ramil Khantimirov, CEO and co-founder of StormWall. “Most attacks took place in the first two months of the quarter, which suggests a period of calm, but it’s going to be temporary. Hacktivists are unlikely to stop and they also developed DDoS tools that are now in the hands of all actors. We should brace for a difficult 4th quarter”. 

Sead Fadilpašić

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.