Q4 2017’s biggest cyber attacks were political sabotage

Published on: 9 Feb 2018

The most notorious cyber attacks in the last quarter of 2017 were politically motivated, a new report from Kaspersky Lab has revealed.

It cites DDoS attacks that targeted the Czech statistical office and the site of the Spanish Constitutional Court).

Elsewhere, the Q4 2017 DDoS Intelligence Report also highlighted attempts to profit from changes in the Bitcoin exchange rate, with BTG websites and the Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex being subjected to attacks.

Peak online sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday meant there was a sudden surge in the number of infection attempts on specially created bait by Linux-based DDoS bots. Kaspersky stressed that this may reflect the desire of cyber criminals to increase the size of their botnets prior to a period of major sales to make more money.

DDoS attacks weren’t always consciously launched; sometimes they were an accidental side effect.

In December, an extensive ‘DDoS attack’ on the DNS servers of the RU national domain zone was caused by a modification to the Lethic spambot.

Thanks to a developer error, the trojan created a vast number of requests to non-existent domains and ended up producing the effect of a massive DDoS attack.

Kirill Ilganaev, head of Kaspersky DDoS protection at Kaspersky Lab, commented: "You don’t have to be a direct target to become a victim of a DDoS attack.

“Today, DDoS is an instrument for applying pressure or making money illegally, and attacks can harm not just large, well-known organisations but also very small companies. No business that depends on internet access - even partially - should be without anti-DDoS protection.”