In recent months we have witnessed a rise in new and significantly high-volume distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
The venomous nature Mirai botnet
Mirai botnet is a prime example in this case. Involved in a string of DDoS attacks in recent months, including the one on DNS provider Dyn in October, the botnet is said to have a population of around 300,000 compromised IoT devices. Its population could increase significantly if hackers somehow amend the source code to include the root credentials of many other devices not currently employed by the botnet.
Cybersecurity experts predict that Mirai botnet, and others like it, will become more complex as 2017 progresses. Hackers are always to evolve, and once they do, they’d adapt the botnet to new DDoS attacking methods. It is believed that Mirai currently contains around 10 different DDoS attack techniques which are being utilized by hackers to initiate an attack. These will obviously increase as 2017 progresses.
Corporate giants need to fear the possibility of more DDoS attacks
Mirai botnet is only the first of many examples. The motivation for DDoS attacks are endless, and the range of these attacks is expanding into political and economic domains. Though, previously these attacks were restricted to small websites. Now, they have the potential to disrupt websites of internet giants including BBC, Dyn and Twitter.
Our entire digital economy depends upon access to the Internet, so organizations should think carefully about business continuity in the wake of such events. Individual DDoS attacks, on average, cost large enterprises $444,000 per incident in lost business and IT spending, so the combined economic impact from an entire region being affected would be extremely damaging.
Some argue that companies must place back-up telephone systems in place to communicate with customers in case of a DDoS attack. Though, beneficial for small companies, this will certainly not help internet giants like Amazon, Alibaba and other such services.
DDoS attacks on gamers
According to multiple surveys, gamers are a big target of DDoS attacks. Over recent years, gaming has gradually shifted towards an online model, and things will continue moving in this direction. However, sometimes to get undue advantage, hackers often hit rival gamers with DDoS attacks in order to win the game in a cheap manner.
ISPs Need to Play a Role in Reducing DDoS Attacks
In the wake of recent IoT-related DDoS attacks, experts encourage manufacturers to install multiple security protocols on internet connected devices before they are sold to customers. Though, this may help in reducing the strength of future DDoS attacks, ISPs still need to play a major role in eliminating the threat of future DDoS attacks.
At least on a local level, ISPs could reduce the overall volume of DDoS attacks significantly under their domain by employing systems and features which could help detect and remediate infected bots that are used to launch DDoS attacks.
A nexus of ISPs, device manufacturers, the government and internet giants can greatly help in reducing the threat of future DDoS attacks. The internet community is paying attention to problems related to DDoS attacks, and network operators and internet giants are looking for ways to address this issue.
If this nexus operates together and works hard enough to protect the integrity of the internet, we may make tremendous progress in defeating the threat of DDoS attacks once and for all!