Global cyber extortion attacks continue to threaten individuals and organisations, cybersecurity experts caution in Dubai


11 million attacks on networked gadgets, services likely in 2021, security experts warn

Dubai: Cybercriminals launched around 5.4 million Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attacks in the first half of this year — an increase of 11 per cent over the same period in 2020.

According to a Netscout threat intelligence report, DDoS is a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic.

Netscout, a leading security vendor, told Gulf News on the sidelines of Gitex Technology week, that DDoS attacks achieve effectiveness by utilising multiple compromised computer systems as sources of attack traffic. Exploited machines can include computers and other networked resources, such as any collection of internet-connected gadgets like cameras, refrigerators and smart speakers.

‘Invading’ a network

“A DDoS attack is like an unexpected traffic jam clogging up the highway, preventing regular traffic from arriving at its destination. It is targeting your devices and the internet service providers in your country. It restricts your access to your resources by bringing it down and thereby allowing attackers to invade your network,” Emad Fahmy, Systems Engineering manager at Netscout told Gulf News.

He said that the DDoS extortion attacks continue to threaten organisations of all sizes and across multiple industries everywhere — even in UAE as there is a heavy internet usage here. “Sometimes there are two types of hackers working together, with one of them launching DDoS attacks to bring the service provider down and the second hacking government entities or companies’ devices, especially in the telecommunication and financial sectors,” Fahmy added.