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DDoS often used as a diversion tactic

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks make a lot of noise, and according to a new Kaspersky Lab (opens in new tab) report, that’s exactly what hackers are using them for. As businesses are preoccupied solving DDoS attacks, hackers use the opportunity for another, more targeted and more deadly type of attack. Basically, DDoS is nothing more than a smokescreen. The conclusion comes in Kaspersky Lab’s report which polled businesses about their cybersecurity experiences, and more than half (56 per cent) say DDoS is being used as a smokescreen.  

In more than a quarter (29 per cent) of attacks, DDoS has been part of the tactics. Another quarter (26 per cent) said when they lost data due to a targeted attack, they were also hit by DDoS.  

“DDoS prevents a company from continuing its normal activities by putting either public or internal services on hold,” said Kirill Ilganaev, Head of Kaspersky DDoS Protection.  

“This is a real problem to businesses and it is often ‘all hands on deck’ in the IT team to try and fix the problem quickly so the business can carry on as before. DDoS can therefore be used not only as an easy way to stop the activity of a company, but also as a decoy to distract IT staff from another intrusion taking place through other channels.” 

The usual tactics include exploiting mobile devices, phishing scams, or even malicious activity from insiders. “The research shows us that DDoS attacks are often aligned with other threats. Businesses therefore need to be aware of the full threat landscape and prepared to deal with multiple types of criminal activity at any one time,” Ilganaev continued. 

“Failure to do this could increase the collateral damage, on top of already significant losses caused by downtime and the resulting impact on reputation. Businesses need to use a reliable DDoS protection service to reduce the risk of DDoS and help staff concentrate their efforts on protecting the business from any threats that can be hidden as a result."    

Image Credit: Profit_Image / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.