DDoS attacks surge on educational, civic bodies websites

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on May 09, 2020 Published on May 09, 2020

As people confine themselves to their homes in the lockdown, hackers have increased focus on the targets that they can profit on.

Cyber security experts have found that DDoS (Distributed Denial of Services) attacks on educational and civic body websites have gone up significantly in the first quarter. Such attacks result in denial of services to the genuine users.

By launching DDoS attacks, the hackers send a large number of requests to the target websites, far exceeding their capacity, impairing ability to function normally.

The overall number of attacks grew during the first three months of the year, with a significant spike in attacks on municipal and educational sites.

The hackers have realised that the people have begun to rely on the digital gadgets to get connected to the world as they can’t move out due to lockdown restructions. A large number of educational institutions, including universities, have opened online windows to reach out to their students.

“This can be due to the fact that DDoS actors are taking advantage of the current situation when people are locked down in their homes and are heavily reliant on digital resources,” Alexey Kiselev, Business Development Manager on the Kaspersky DDoS Protection team, has said.

“The increased demand in online resources during the lockdown was noted by cyber attackers, who conducted attacks on the most vital digital services or those that are growing in popularity,” he said.

Kaspersky’s first quarter report on DDoS attacks cited the examples of attacks on the US Government's Department of Health and Human Services, on a group of hospitals in Paris, and on servers of an online game in February and March.

The quarterly report said that the number of attacks on educational sites and websites of civic bodies went up by three times. The share of such attacks amounted to 19 per cent of the total number of incidents in the quarter.

New trend

The experts see a new trend in DDoS attacks. “Previously most attacks were conducted against the public-facing resources of companies. We now see that DDoS attacks target internal infrastructure elements, for example, corporate VPN (virtual private networks) or email servers,” Alexey Kiselev said.

Cyber security experts ask the service providers not to panic when they see spikes in the traffic on their sites.

“Unexpected traffic peaks may look like a DDoS attack, but these instances can be caused by legitimate users. They can visit resources which were not as popular before,” he said.

He asked the service providers to conduct a fault tolerance analysis of their infrastructure to identify weak nodes and increase their reliability.

Published on May 09, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.