Smokescreening: Data Theft Makes DDoS More Dangerous

By Neustar

The Danger Deepens: Neustar's Annual DDoS Attack Report – Neustar surveyed IT professionals at hundreds of companies to create the third annual report on the DDoS landscape — and it reveals surprising trends in attacks and threats. (Download the Report Here)It's called "smokescreening" and it's costing companies big.

In 2013, over 50 percent of companies hit by DDoS attacks suffered theft of funds, customer data or intellectual property. Attackers now use DDoS as a smokescreen for malware or virus insertions. This is one of the major findings in Neustar's just-released 2014 DDoS Attacks and Impact Report.

In one case, crooks used DDoS to help steal bank customers' credentials and drain $9 million from ATMs in just 48 hours. Such incidents have caused the FDIC to warn about DDoS as "a diversionary tactic."

"Here's an analogy," says Rodney Joffe, Neustar Senior Vice President and Senior Technologist. "When there's a tremendous storm, you run around your house making sure all the windows are closed and you've got the flashlights ready. You're not worried about anything else. DDoS attacks are similar. They create an all-hands-on-deck mentality, which is understandable but sometimes dangerous."

The potential for damage has experts like Joffe worried. "The stakes are much higher," he notes. "If you're a criminal, why mess around with extortion when you can just go ahead and steal — and on a much greater scale?"

What are the warning signs of smokescreening — and what preventive steps can you take? Download the full DDoS attacks report to learn more.

Related topics: Cyberattack, Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, DDoS, Malware