DDoS Attacks on Sweden’s Transit System Signal a Significant Threat

Joy Reo
By | October 19, 2017

Posted in: Network Security Trends

Critical infrastructure organizations are at significant risk to the damaging impact of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. Such was the case a few days ago, when a series of DDoS attacks on Sweden's transportation services caused train delays and disrupted travel service earlier this week. This is a clear example of how hackers can go from being mere cyber criminals to cyber terrorists. There is a big difference between hacking a corporate website and hacking a system that impacts the ability of a government agency to provide its fundamental, critical service to a general population.

Of course transit agencies rely heavily on their website and back-end IT systems to coordinate everything from stop or go signals to passenger ticketing. Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure services, such as hospitals, transit agencies or utilities can be much more than an inconvenience; they can pose a serious threat to segments of the general population. That fact became clear in mid-May of this year, when the WannaCry ransomware attack impacted the UK’s National Health Service.

Critical infrastructure operators, such as transportation agencies, cannot leave DDoS attack protection to chance. In the reported example of DDoS attacks against Sweden's transport agencies prove just how damaging a DDoS attack can be if not properly protected.

Recent Freedom of Information data revealed that most UK critical infrastructure organizations (51 percent) are potentially vulnerable to these attacks, because they do not detect or mitigate short-duration surgical DDoS attacks on their networks.

As a result, just five percent of these infrastructure operators admitted to experiencing DDoS attacks on their networks in the past year (to March 2017).  However, if 90 percent of the DDoS attacks on their networks are also shorter than 30 minutes, as experienced by Corero customers, the real figure could be considerably higher.

Business that rely on uptime and service availability cannot look to traditional security infrastructure to ‘check the DDoS protection box’.  Employing a proactive, automated DDoS protection solution enables flexible, cost effective and real-time mitigation against these serious threats - eliminating the impact to service availability.

Corero has been a leader in modern DDoS protection solutions for over a decade; to learn how you can protect your company, contact us.

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