DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks continue to increase dramatically, threatening websites and businesses globally, according to a study cited by IPC, the country’s pioneer DDoS Mitigation service provider.
The study conducted by IPC’s DDoS Mitigation partner Imperva Incapsula, entitled Global DDoS Threat Landscape Q4 2015, used data from 3,997 network layer and 5,443 application layer DDoS attacks mitigated by Incapsula from October 1 to November 29, 2015.
A DDoS attack is a costly form of cyber crime where a large volume of malicious traffic is flooded into a website, causing it to crash. This is a planned and coordinated attack to disrupt the normal function of a website.
According to the study, the United States, United Kingdom and Japan are the top three targeted countries. Furthermore, UK-based and Japan-based sites saw a 20.7 percent and 7.4 increase in attacks, respectively.
“DDoS is a serious online crime that cannot be ignored. It warrants a definitive course of action from highly-skilled professionals trained in this type of cyber war,” said IPC president Rene Huergas. He added that the Incapsula report is a clear indication of how DDoS poses a formidable threat to businesses in any industry worldwide, including the Philippines. In the study, it was revealed that there were changes in the DDoS attack patterns during the last quarter of 2015 and a surge in the use of DDoS-for-hire services. A 25.3-percent increase from the previous quarter in terms of frequency of network layer attacks was also recorded.
The longest application layer attack — to date lasted for over 101 days. The target was a US-hosted Web site registered to a small catering business. Moreover, a 325Gbps network layer attack, one of the largest to ever be documented, occurred in mid-December 2015.
“Business leaders and entrepreneurs must be vigilant against these attacks, which can cause damage to their companies’ coffers. As what the report stated, the perpetrators are finding new ways to infiltrate Web sites and crash these on purpose,” Huergas pointed out.
Cyber crimes on a larger scale can take its toll on a country where there is a growing need for companies to go online to reach a bigger target market. A recent example is when the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Web site was defaced by hackers claiming to be from Anonymous Philippines. As the group turned the NTC page black, they posted their grievances over the state of Philippine Internet. The attack went viral immediately, not only bringing to the public’s attention the group’s cause but exposing the vulnerability of the website of a government agency.
Aside from the government, most businesses in the retail and financial industries in the Philippines have online presence. E-commerce, for one, continues to thrive, attracting customers who spend a lot of time online. Some of these e-commerce sites have advertised aggressively, spending millions for production and tri-media (TV, print and radio) placements, proof that e-commerce is an emerging industry.
Aside from this, most decision makers recognize the importance of going digital to grow their business. Indeed, there is a need for effective online safeguards and security measures to prevent DDoS attacks.