We knew that the pandemic was creating opportunities for DDoS attacks, along with other hacking tactics such as phishing. We also knew that the problem was big. But an increase of 542% over the last quarter will cause some sleepless nights, to say the least.
Part of the problem, of course, is the number of people who are now working from home. As individuals, very few possess the skill to counter a sophisticated attack and so the burden passes back to the ISP. And because of the distributed nature of the workforce, all trying their best to keep up with the security warnings from a remote IT department, the bad guys sense a huge opportunity.
The DDoS attacks have increased in sophistication, and 90% of them use a single vector method, a change from the previously popular multi-vector approach.
As well as the high-level DDoS attacks, Nexusguard who published its Threat Report for 2020, is also seeing a rise in what they term ‘small, invisible killer’ attacks that are being largely ignored by the ISPs, whose responsibility they believe it should be.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has created a huge opportunity for hackers in various guises. As we have reported before, phishing is on the rise and becoming a vicious battleground as it moves from email phishing to Twitter to make the attacks look more authentic.
It is also true that hacking and cyber-attacks have become a useful weapon in national strategies, to the point where countries will try to hack into databases containing possible vaccines and other solutions to the pandemic itself. This seems strange, as, in this kind of crisis, everyone should be willing to share resources.
DDoS attacks have now officially joined the ranks of the dark arts being levelled against a workforce that is now remote and therefore vulnerable. One thing that will happen is that as the resources and aggression of the bad guys ramps up, so too will those of the good guys and it may be that social media suddenly comes up with effective ways of defending its borders against criminal elements.