Cybercrime: The Rise of DDoS Attacks in the Net
The FBI reports that in 2015, DDoS extortion attacks are expanding. In fact, many businesses are being threatened today with network flood attacks and are at an increased risk of being extorted by hackers.
The FBI brought attention to this threat in an online bulletin on the Internet Crime Complaint Center, which works in conjunction with the FBI and other similar agencies. The warning states as follows: “The victim business receives an e-mail threatening a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack to its website, unless it pays a ransom.” It seems that different groups of attackers or individuals are behind those threats, as the ransoms vary in price and the approach is different in each case. For example, some of the criminal demand the ransom in bitcoin, the new online currency. (It is widely considered that bitcoin is almost impossible to trace). In many cases, the attackers warn that if the victims do not pay the ransom, they will have to pay more after the time frame has been passed. Web Site administrations receive these threatening e-mails and then in most cases, the attacks actually happen.
An attack typically lasts one to two hours, with 30 to 35 gigabytes as the physical limit.
The malware that extorts money for the release of encrypted or locked files (so called “ransomware”) is offered on the net for a rather high price. Sometimes this new wave of ransomware attempts to extort funds prior to any attack taking place.
The DDoS attacks are likely to expand to online industries and other targeted sectors, especially those susceptible to suffering financial losses if taken offline, according to FBI alert.
One way businesses can protect themselves from another attack, is to report to an implementing DDoS mitigation service as a precaution.