NETSCOUT discovered a substantial surge in the number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, in 2020. This is in the trend set after the pandemic started, according the company.
DDoS attacks, triggered by home working
As most of the users started working mainly from home, students learning online and the e-commerce explosion, service providers became vital. Their networks have to support learning, communications, work, entertainment and shopping more than ever before.
Thus, they also became one of the preferred targets of the distributed denial of service attackers. Experts in the ATLAS Security Engineering and Response Team (ASERT), which belongs to NETSCOUT, released the report recently.
According to the report, the team observed more than 10 million such attacks, during the last year. This means about 19% more than one year before. So, the analysts consider that cyber-criminals have tried to take advantage of the pandemic and the remote working.
So, the frequency of the attacks surged by about 20%, but it grew even more since the pandemic started. Thus, in March, the figure started to rise and in May they reached more than 900,000.
Attacks targeted essential sectors
Attackers took advantage of the fact that essential sectors, forced by the pandemic to go digital. “Threat actors have focused their efforts on targeting crucial online platforms and services such as healthcare, education, financial services and e-commerce that we all rely on in our daily lives,” Richard Hummel, threat intelligence lead at NETSCOUT, said.
For instance, e-commerce, online learning and healthcare were the preferred targets. Only in education networks the DDoS activity recorded an increase of 25%.
“It is no coincidence that this milestone number of global attacks comes at a time when businesses have relied so heavily on online services to survive,” Hummel added.
According to the NETSCOUT security professionals should remain vigilant during such hard times, to protect the infrastructure of the modern world.
What is a DDoS attack?
A denial of service attack is, in fact, a malicious attempt to take down machines, servers or even networks.
So, attackers flood servers with face internet traffic. As a result, they become overwhelmed with this traffic and become either very slow or even inoperable.
This way, hackers achieve their goal: prevent legitimate users from accessing the website.
Learn about the prevention tips that can help you avoid such attacks.