#CyberFLASH: DDoS attacks more numerous and harmful in 2013: report

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The title says it all: “The Danger Deepens.” Neustar, a cloud-based information services and data analytics provider, recently released its roundup of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in 2013, and the picture doesn’t look good; in 2013 the strategy and severity of DDoS evolved, with attackers becoming more focused and sophisticated, carefully targeting their attacks to exploit vulnerabilities.

“Over the last year, DDoS attacks evolved in strategy and tactics,” the report says. “We saw increased media reports of ‘smokescreening,’ where criminals use DDoS attacks to distract IT staff while inserting malware to breach bank accounts and customer data. More than half of attacked companies reported theft of funds, data or intellectual property. Such cyber attacks are intense but shorter-lived, more surgical than sustained strikes whose goal is extended downtime

The duration of an average attack decreased, but that’s not reason for optimism, Neustar warns. The number of attacks is on the rise, and the shorter duration is a sign that attackers have clear, thought-out goals. Large attacks have become more but hits under 1Gbps still make up the majority of incidents.

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