Cybercriminals accelerate global cybersecurity crisis

Cybercriminals accelerate global cybersecurity crisis

The bi-annual NETSCOUT Threat Intelligence Report has underlined the dramatic impact cyberattacks continue to have on governments and private and public organisations across the world.

The first half of 2021 saw approximately 5.4million Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attacks – a figure that is 11 per cent higher than was seen the previous year.

Ransomware has become big business, with extortionists adding DDoS to their attack regimen to ramp up the pressure on victims and load stress onto security teams. Triple extortion combines file encryption, data theft, and DDoS attacks, increasing the possibility that cyber criminals receive payment.

Botnets are also adding to DDoS activity – it’s previously been reported that badbots account for 40% of total internet traffic worldwide. Tracked botnet clusters and high-density attack-source zones worldwide highlighted how malicious adversaries abused these botnets to participate in more than 2.8 million DDoS attacks. In addition, well-known IoT botnets Gafgyt and Mirai continue to pose a severe threat contributing to more than half of the total number of DDoS attacks.

Richard Hummel, Threat Intelligence Lead, NETSCOUT, said: “Cybercriminals are making front-page news launching an unprecedented number of DDoS attacks to take advantage of the pandemic’s remote work shift by undermining vital components of the connectivity supply chain.

“Ransomware gangs added triple-extortion DDoS tactics to their repertoire. Simultaneously, the Fancy Lazarus DDoS extortion campaign kicked into high gear threatening organisations in multiple industries with a focus on ISPs and specifically their authoritative DNS servers.”

Findings from the NETSCOUT 1H2021 report show that new adaptive DDoS attack techniques are continuing to evade traditional defences. Cybercriminals have evolved their strategies to bypass cloud-based and on-premise static DDoS defences in order to target commercial banks and credit card processors.

NETSCOUT’s Active Level Threat Analysis System (ATLAS) Security Engineering and Response Team (ASERT) expert this attacker innovation to continue, fuelling a growing cybersecurity crisis.