Feeds

'Hacktivism' threatens world of nations

DDoS gets political

The essential guide to IT transformation

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." ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.