In the four days the offer was available, 2,000 + readers were able to take advantage of Zemana’s generosity. But it could have been more.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals obviously saw in this free license giveaway, an opportunity to be disruptive by launching a distributed denial-of-service attack, driven by a bot network, against the Zemana license server.
While this attack was extremely disruptive, and very inconvenient for those readers who choose to take advantage of Zemana’s generous offer, (not to mention the additional workload it imposed on me), in a real sense, the attack emphasized the level of cybercriminal activity on the Internet, and the lengths to which these Neolithic idiots will go to threaten our enjoyment of the Net.
Ironically, those responsible for the attack showed by their actions, how important it is, that we as Internet user make sure we are adequately protected against cybercriminal activity.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDos) are once again on the rise, and this does not bode well for any of us. At first glance you might think “I don’t see how this could affect me”; but like all cybercriminal activity, it does.
Courtesy of Symantec Hosted Services and MessageLabs Intelligence.
Ten years ago, distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attacks shut-down a number of high profile websites, including major retailers and news sites, leaving them offline for several hours.
Fast forward a decade and DDoS attacks – which attempt to cause disruption to an online service or application – have evolved to be more sophisticated, more prevalent and more dangerous than ever.
Who’s behind this dangerous type of attack? Botnets are a key player – with over five million active PCs around the world, the most prominent spam-sending botnets provide the massive power these attacks.
DDoS attackers don’t care how they are able to hit mail servers, they will use a number of tactics – such as dictionary attacks – to reach as many businesses as they can. For a small company, this can become a silent killer for their email system.
There are concerns that, in the future, botnets will become increasingly self-sufficient which could make them even more efficient at propagating DDoS attacks.
Savvy botnet owners are now building in business continuity plans to ensure their networks are self sufficient, robust and less prone to disruption. Semi-automated networks mean that cybercriminals are now free to pursue new business opportunities while targeted DDoS attacks take down critical online applications and services on their own.
How have DDoS attacks evolved over the last ten years? What can we expect to see in the near future? Read more on the MessageLabs Intelligence blog.
About Symantec: Symantec is a global leader in providing security, storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organizations secure and manage their information-driven world. More information is available here.
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