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News

Kaspersky Summarises Study Results On DDos Attacks

Kaspersky Lab UK : 05 September, 2011  (Technical Article)
Second Quarter analysis of denial of service attacks reveals the distribution of attacks and the times they're most likely to occur along with the duration
Kaspersky Summarises Study Results On DDos Attacks
Distributed denial-of-service attacks have long been used by cybercriminals resorting to blackmail and extortion. However, DDoS attacks are increasingly being used as a form of protest against the activities of both governments and major corporations. The second quarter of 2011 saw numerous DDoS attacks with a variety of motives, many of them significant enough to ensure they go down in the history of cybercrime, according to Kaspersky Lab.

The longest DDoS attack in Q2 lasted 60 days, 1 hour, 21 minutes and 9 seconds and the highest number of DDoS attacks against a single site in Q2: 218.

Weekdays see the most active use of the Internet. It is on these days that various web resources are most in demand and that DDoS attacks are likely to inflict the maximum amount of damage on websites. Another important factor is that greater numbers of computers are switched on on weekdays, so there are more active bots. As a result, cybercriminal activity peaks from Monday to Thursday – on these days an average of 80% of all DDoS attacks take place. The most popular day is Tuesday with roughly 23% of the week’s DDoS attacks.


In Q2 this year, online shopping sites, including e-stores, auctions, and buy and sell message boards, were increasingly targeted by cybercriminals – websites of this category accounted for a quarter of all attacks. This is hardly surprising: online shopping largely depends on a website’s availability, and each hour of downtime results in lost clients and lost profits. The websites of electronic trading platforms and banks occupy third and fourth places respectively.

The most active hacker groups in the second quarter of 2011 were LulzSec and Anonymous. They organised DDoS attacks on government sites in the US, the UK, Spain, Turkey, Iran and several other countries. The hackers managed to temporarily bring down sites such as cia.gov (the US Central Intelligence Agency) and www.soca.gov.uk (the British Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)).

One big corporation subjected to a major attack was Sony. At the end of March, Sony initiated legal action against several hackers accusing them of breaching the firmware of the popular PlayStation 3 console. In protest at Sony’s pursuit of the hackers, Anonymous launched a DDoS attack that crippled the company’s PlayStationnetwork.com sites for some time. But this was just the tip of the iceberg. According to Sony, during the DDoS attack the servers of the PSN service were hacked and the data of 77 million users were stolen.

“Organisations rarely publicise the fact that they have been targeted by DDoS attacks in order to protect their reputation. Cybercriminals, meanwhile, are increasingly using DDoS attacks as a diversionary tactic when launching more sophisticated attacks such as those on online banking systems. Complex attacks of this nature are particularly damaging in that they can cause significant losses for the financial institutions as well as their clients,” explains Yury Namestnikov, senior malware analyst, Global Research and Analysis Team, Kaspersky Lab.
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