The Digital Wild West: Surviving Ransom-Driven DDoS Attacks

Across the Internet, organizations of all types, sizes, and structures are combating cyber attackers as a rise in ransom-driven distributed denial of service (DDoS) threats overwhelms mission or operation critical online systems. 

Ransom-Driven DDoS Attacks

An RDDoS can manifest itself in different ways depending on both the nature of the organizations being targeted and the cyber criminals themselves. These criminals, through the use of software that is surprisingly easy to learn and use, attempt to extort money from organizations by placing pressure on the foundational operation of important websites or systems.

What Is a Ransom-Driven DDoS Attack? 

In a typical RDDoS attack, digital criminals reach out to organizations with email or other message threats to infect their online systems with powerful ransomware capable of inundating entire websites. The threats will be carried out, the criminals assert, unless the organization grants its cooperation through the on-time payment of the demanded ransom. 

And to ensure their threats are taken seriously, these cyber criminals will, in some cases, execute a smaller-stakes demonstrational attack on the organization, so its leadership knows they mean business. 

When these attacks are executed successfully, organizations must combat the productivity and financial losses associated with unscheduled web downtime, as well as negative effects on credibility or authority.

How Do Ransom-Driven DDoS Attacks Work?

In order to execute a DDoS attack on a given target, a solo hacker or group of cyber criminals will attempt to expend all resources of an online application, network, or website—such that authentic users are denied access to and/or operation of the service.

Through the flooding of junk data and inauthentic web traffic, the attack and its various components are distributed throughout the platform to a variety of channels. As a result, organizations may find it more difficult to stop the attack as it infiltrates from many different sources. 

What Do I Do If I’ve Been Targeted?

When victims of RDDoS attacks engage with the cyber criminals responsible for the threats, either by answering the ransom note or, even worse, providing funds to the hackers, rises in such attacks are unfortunately made more likely. As high-profile victims succumb to these threats, cyber criminals grow in their confidence, seeking out new and improved ways of extorting money from vulnerable organizations as they hone their skills.

As such, it’s important to educate organizations on the dangers of ransom-driven distributed denial of service threats, as well as those associated with fulfilling the demands of cyber criminals. 

Fortunately, with the rise in RDDoS threats also comes the evolution of more powerful, more effective mitigation solutions for combating such attacks.

In order to protect your organization or system from a ransom-driving DDoS attack, consider the following options: 

  1. Do not panic, do not answer the ransom note, and DO NOT pay the ransom demand. 
  2. Install DDoS protection hardware and software capable of detecting and blocking attacks for 24/7 mitigation support. 
  3. Enable all available attack detection and DDoS protection settings for your web host, if applicable, as offered by web infrastructure and website security companies such as Cloudflare
  4. Consider hosting with a web infrastructure and website security company for greater control and third-party support of your network infrastructure.

To find out more about how you can protect your organization against the threat of ransom-driven DDoS attacks, contact the web development team at ONE18MEDIA today.

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