Twenty-five percent of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that occur in 2013 will be application-based, according to Gartner, Inc. During such incidents, attackers send out targeted commands to applications to tax the central processing unit (CPU) and memory and make the application unavailable.
“2012 witnessed a new level of sophistication in organized attacks against enterprises across the globe, and they will grow in sophistication and effectiveness in 2013,” said Avivah Litan, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “A new class of damaging DDoS attacks and devious criminal social-engineering ploys were launched against U.S. banks in the second half of 2012, and this will continue in 2013 as well-organized criminal activity takes advantage of weaknesses in people, processes and systems.”
High-bandwidth DDoS attacks are becoming the new norm and will continue wreaking havoc on unprepared enterprises in 2013. A new class of damaging DDoS attacks was launched against U.S. banks in the second half of 2012, sometimes adding up to 70 Gbps of noisy network traffic blasting at the banks through their Internet pipes. Until this recent spate of attacks, most network-level DDoS attacks consumed only five Gbps of bandwidth, but more recent levels made it impossible for bank customers and others using the same pipes to get to their websites.
Hackers use DDoS attacks to distract security staff so that they can steal sensitive information or money from accounts. People continue to be the weakest link in the security chain, as criminal social engineering ploys reach new levels of deviousness in 2013.
In 2012, several different fraud scams that took social engineering tactics to new heights of deviousness have been reported, including criminals approaching people in person as law enforcement or bank officers to help them through account migration that then comprised their bank accounts.