Friday, May 01, 2009

Experts Chart Spike in Cyber Sieges

Brian Krebs writes in The Washington Post:

Cyber attacks with enough firepower to knock entire countries off the Internet have spiked in recent months, raising fresh concerns within the security community about weaknesses in the Internet infrastructure that help create such weapons of mass disruption.

These "distributed denial of service" or DDoS attacks use robot networks or "botnets" -- many hundreds or thousands of compromised PCs -- to flood targets with so much junk traffic that they can no longer accommodate legitimate visitors.

While DDoS attacks have been a common threat since the dawn of the commercial Internet, DDoS watchers, such as Arbor Networks, have tracked a recent spike in the number, sophistication and size of attacks against major Internet providers. Attackers also appear to be picking bigger targets.

"We've certainly seen in last 120 days an uptick in critical infrastructure impacting attacks," said Danny McPherson, Arbor's chief security officer. "Suffice it to say, 'interesting' activity in this area has indeed increased from our perspective over the past 6 months or so, and the virulence of infrastructure attacks continues to be evident."

More here.


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