Press release network Business Wire has admitted suffering an ongoing Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack lasting a week so far, in a sign of the continued pressure high-profile firms are under from anonymous attackers.
The firm, which is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, relies on its web infrastructure to get online press releases and media alerts in front of readers.
However, a memo sent to partners by COO Richard DeLeo and seen by Infosecurity admitted the firm had been under attack since January 31.
“The attack is attempting to make our service portal unavailable. DDoS attacks are malicious attempts to render a website unavailable by overwhelming the site with an enormous amount of traffic from multiple sources. As a result of this attack, clients may experience slowness on BusinessWire.com,” he said.
“Please note that Business Wire’s ability to disseminate your content has not been impacted in any way. Additionally, there is no evidence that any systems or client information have been compromised.”
DeLeo sought to reassure customers that his team was working with partners to “mitigate and resolve the issue and stabilize the environment.”
The firm is not alone in its current struggles against shadowy DDoS-ers.
According to security vendor A10 Networks, the average company suffers 15 DDoS attacks per year, with an average attack causing at least 17 hours of downtime. This could range from slowdowns to denied customer access or even site crashes.
Attacks are also thought to be getting harder to defend against, with average peak bandwidths of 30-40 Gbps, and many attacks going even higher.
Mounir Hahad, head of threat research at Juniper Networks, claimed that unsecured IoT devices could add extra DDoS challenges for firms in 2018, as targeted Linux malware is developed to remotely infect and control them.
“In the case of a targeted DDoS attack such as the one on BusinessWire, it is always prudent to look for signs of another sneakier attack going on while the security teams are fighting off what is essentially a diversion,” he added.