DDoS Attacks, Security Breaches Validate the Need for National Cyber Security Awareness

It’s very apropos that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month because this month and the preceding month have been chock full of record-breaking cyber attacks. Below is a summary of the “big” cyber news in the last four weeks; there was so much bad news it’s hard to keep track! Bear in mind, there are plenty of smaller DDoS attacks that are serious but don’t make the news headlines.

  • September 20: the website of noted security researcher Brian Krebs got whacked with a record-breaking volumetric distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that registered 665Gbps. That attack leveraged the IoT botnet “Mirai” code, harnessing thousands of devices.
  • September 29: Not to be outdone, hackers then broke that record, with a 1 Tbps DDoS attack on French hosting provider OVH.
  • September 30: Newsweek’s website went offline briefly due to a massive DDoS attack, possibly an act of political hacktivism because of an article published by the magazine that reported U.S. Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s company had violated a trade embargo on Cuba.
  • October 1: hackers released the source code for the IoT Botnet 'Mirai,' perhaps doing so to make it more difficult for law enforcement to hunt down the real hackers.
  • October 21: DYN, a well-known DNS provider, was hit by a massive DDoS attack that impacted the online availability of popular brands such as Twitter, Spotify, Basecamp, Netflix, Air BnB and a laundry list of others. The hacking collective called New World Hackers claimed responsibility for the attack, which allegedly swamped DYN servers with 1.2 terabits of data per second.

As if the above DDoS attacks were not enough cause for concern, there has been increasing talk about a cyber war between Russia and the United States. Russia reportedly breached the voter registration systems in Illinois and Arizona, and 17 U.S. intelligence agencies stated that Russia breached the files of the Republican and Democratic National Committees and the email servers of the Democratic party officials.

The chill in the air is not entirely due to the onset of autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere; rather, it’s at least in part due to the cold reality that cyber security is an important and difficult issue we all face, whether politically, economically or personally. Lately, with all the bad news about major attacks and breaches that affect the general public, it’s hard not to be aware of cyber threats. Yet there is so much more we can do as nations, individuals and organizations to protect our cyber infrastructure. The Corero team remains vigilant and diligent in our work to keep the Internet safe and secure.

There are just a few days left in National Cyber Security Awareness Month; if the trend continues, there is still plenty of time left for another whopper of a DDoS attack. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

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