Feeds

'Hacktivism' threatens world of nations

DDoS gets political

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Usenix Politically motivated computer attacks like the one last year that crippled network traffic in Estonia for weeks are likely to increase, and there's not much victims can do to stop them, a security researcher says.

Indeed, just last week government websites in the former Soviet republic of Georgia were ransacked by a denial-of-service attack amid growing diplomatic tensions between the country and Russia. Other victims include Radio Free Europe and dissidents in Tibet and Burma.

And an explosion of do-it-yourself tools is making it easier than ever to assure that the attacks are more and more powerful, Jose Nazario, a security analyst for Arbor Networks said at the Usenix Security Symposium in San Jose, California. That gives the politically disaffected a power they've never had before.

"It's a huge, level playing field," he said. "Who would have thought that a couple of kids could basically disrupt a nation for several weeks?"

Asymmetrical attacks - in which a relatively small number of people inflict huge damage on a much larger target - are on the rise thanks to advances made by cyber miscreants. DDoS attacks at the beginning of the decade typically topped out at around 200 Mbps. Now Nazario sees them as high as 25 Gbps. While so-called 'hacktivist' attacks on Estonia brought geopolitically motivated cyber attacks to light, they date back to at least the late 1990s during the conflict between Kosovo and Serbia, Nazario said.

While some people in the US have publicly considered launching counter-strikes using military-owned botnets, Nazario said such approaches wouldn't be effective, mainly because miscreants have so many ways of concealing where the attacks are coming from.

"Proactive solutions are generally not truly workable," he said. "It's going to be reactive and the goal is to shorten the reaction time and ... to minimize external damage." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
BlackEnergy crimeware coursing through US control systems
US CERT says three flavours of control kit are under attack
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.