Story image

Universities seeing rise in DDoS attacks

05 Nov 18

Kaspersky Lab has noticed an overall decline in the number of DDoS attacks this year, which may be due to many bot owners reallocating the computing power of their bots to a more profitable and relatively safe way of making money: cryptocurrency mining.

However, there is still a risk of DDoS attacks causing disruption, despite attackers not seeking financial gain.

The Kaspersky Lab DDoS Q3 report marked a continued trend in attacks aimed at educational organisations, as they open their doors after a long summer and students head back to school.

Attackers were most active during the third quarter in August and September, proven by the number of DDoS attacks on educational institutions increasing sharply at the start of the academic year.

This year, the most prominent attacks hit the websites of one of the UK’s leading universities – the University of Edinburgh – and the US vendor Infinite Campus, which supports the parent portal for numerous city public schools.

Analysis from Kaspersky Lab experts has found that the majority of these DDoS attacks were carried out during term time and subsided during the holidays.

More or less the same result was obtained by the British organisation Jisc.

After collecting data about a series of attacks on universities, it determined that the number of attacks fell when students were on holiday.

The number of attacks also decreases outside of study hours, with DDoS interference in university resources mainly occurring between 9am and 4pm.

Overall, between July and September, DDoS botnets attacked targets in 82 countries.

China was once again first in terms of the number of attacks.

The US returned to second after losing its place in the top three to Hong Kong in Q2.

However, third place has now been occupied by Australia – the first time it’s reached such heights since Kaspersky Lab DDoS reports began.

There have also been changes in the top 10 countries with the highest number of active botnet C&C servers.

As in the previous quarter, the US remained in first place, but Russia moved up to second, while Greece came third.

Kaspersky DDoS protection business development manager Alexey Kiselev says, “The top priority of any cybercriminal activity is gain.

“However, that gain doesn’t necessarily have to be financial. The example of DDoS attacks on universities, schools and testing centres presumably demonstrates attempts by young people to annoy teachers, institutions or other students, or maybe just to postpone a test.

“At the same time, these attacks are often carried out without the use of botnets, which are, as a rule, only available to professional cybercriminals, who now seem to be more concerned with mining and conducting only well-paid attacks.

“This sort of ‘initiative’ shown by students and pupils would be amusing if it didn’t cause real problems for the attacked organisations which, in turn, have to prepare to defend themselves against such attacks,” Kiselev says.

Comms providers hit by most DDoS attacks in Q3 2018
New data indicates attackers preyed on the large attack surface of ASN-level communications service providers with a ‘bit-and-piece’ approach.
Check Point launches hyperscale network security solution
With Check Point Maestro, organisations can scale up their existing Check Point security gateways on demand.
Should AI technology determine the necessity for cyber attack responses?
Fujitsu has developed an AI that supposedly automatically determines whether action needs to be taken in response to a cyber attack.
Trend Micro’s telecom security solution certified as VMware-ready
Certification by VMware allows communications service providers who prefer or have already adopted VMware vCloud NFV to add network security services from Trend Micro.
Frost & Sullivan honours Honeywell's IIoT value creation
Frost & Sullivan has awarded Honeywell with the 2018 Global Customer Value Leadership Award for its work protecting industrial internet of things (IIoT) customers.
Top cybersecurity threats of 2019 – Carbon Black
Carbon Black chief cybersecurity officer Tom Kellermann combines his thoughts with those of Carbon Black's threat analysts and security strategists.
Google's €50m fine a wake up call for big data analytics
Data analytics are essential to company growth, competitive differentiation, and innovation. But there’s now a huge challenge.
UK security startup Barac sets sights on America
“Malware hidden in encrypted traffic is one of the biggest threats organisations are facing today,” says new EVP global sales.