Companies blame competitors for launching DDOS attacks against them: report

A recent research from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International has found that nearly 48 per cent of the companies surveyed believed they knew the identity and motivation of those behind recent Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against them, and many named competitors as key culprits.

Even as criminals who sought to disrupt a company's operations made up over a quarter (28 per cent) of the suspects, one in eight, (12 per cent) companies believed that their competitors were responsible and had paid for DDoS attacks against them, which made the cyber threats even more serious. In the business services industry, over a third surveyed (38 per cent) believed that their competitors were behind a DDoS attack.

Others believed to be perpetrators by the respondents include:

  • Criminals seeking to disrupt or distract while another attack took place (18 per cent )
  • Criminals seeking to disrupt their services for a ransom (17 per cent );
  • Political activists (11 per cent); and
  • Governments or state powers (5 per cent).

According to manufacturers, the most popular motivation for the attacks was indentified as ransom, by manufacturers (27 per cent) and those in the telecoms industry (27 per cent).

''DDoS attacks are no longer just about cybercriminals seeking to halt a company's operations. Businesses are becoming suspicious of each other and there is a real concern that many companies – including small and medium-sized ones – are being affected by the underhand tactics of their competitors, who are commissioning DDoS attacks directly against them, damaging their operations and reputation,'' comments Evgeny Vigovsky, head of Kaspersky DDoS Protection, Kaspersky Lab.

Pointing to the DDoS attack that brought down large parts of the JANET network, Matt White, ex-KPMG information protection and business resilience manager, said Kaspersky's prediction was ''highly likely'', www.scmagazine.com reported.

''It is well known that many university courses are now sponsored by large corporations, particularly PhD courses that require funding. We may never know who did this attack, but it isn't impossible to imagine for example that this was another large educational organisation that either wanted to steal IP such as research, or a large corporation that wanted to give its student more time with a hand in deadline, for example,'' he explained.