War-related Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS) on the Rise

19122023 Ataque Denegación de Servicio (DDos)
An ENISA report confirms an increase in the number of denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks between January 2022 and August 2023, with half of them being motivated by the war between Ukraine and Russia.

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The report, issued by ENISA, confirms the increase in Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS) motivated by war conflicts, specifically between Ukraine and Russia in northeastern Europe.

What is a Denial of Service Attack?

Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS) are a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal operation of a server, service or network by overloading it with an excessive flow of Internet traffic. 

The main objective of these attacks is to make the server or website inaccessible to its legitimate users, thus causing inconvenience or disrupting their operations. Often, this is achieved by saturating server capacity, which can lead to significant slowdowns or total system collapse. 

Denial-of-service attacks can come from a single source or, in more complex and severe cases, from multiple sources, known as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. 

These attacks represent a serious threat to the cybersecurity of companies, governments and organizations, and require robust protection and prevention measures to mitigate their effects.

Government services most affected by Denial of Service Attacks

ENISA’s report provides a broader understanding of the nature and consequences of denial-of-service attacks. It focuses on examining the causes and consequences of these incidents, in addition to promoting greater awareness of these events and offering suggestions for their prevention and solution.

Based on the report, the most vulnerable sectors during the period studied were government entities. These institutions have faced DDoS attacks as forms of protest against certain government policies.

The document highlights a notable increase in the frequency and intensity of DDoS attacks, particularly in the government sphere.

This increase is largely due to geopolitical factors, as the current DDoS threat landscape is significantly affected by recent war conflicts, with a particular focus on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine .

This context encourages the emergence of new attacks, where perpetrators choose their targets without worrying about possible consequences.

8% of Denial of Service Attacks caused a complete outage

The report shows some concerning data on the state of denial-of-service attacks.

First, the most affected area was the government sector, which was subject to46% of the total number of attacks.

Second, an estimated 50% of the incidents worldwide were related to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The study also focuses on analyzing the reasons and purposes behind DDoS attacks, employing a new taxonomy that classifies such attacks based on publicly available information.

Finally, the report underscores the critical need for preventive measures and effective solutions against these threats. It also highlights the main challenges in identifying and analyzing denial-of-service attacks, given the complexity of their patterns and the limited availability of reliable and complete information on these incidents.

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