25 Apr 2014

Media and Entertainment are Favored DDoS Targets

Cyber attackers are increasingly targeting the entertainment industry to gain more visibility and acquire new supporters to their causes, according to a Prolexic report.

In the first quarter of 2014, DDOS attacks rose 47 per cent from a year earlier, and 54 per cent of all attacks were directed towards media and entertainment companies.

“Prolexic continues to see a major interest by the attackers in targeting the Media and Entertainment industry to spread fear and propaganda through political or socially motivated DDoS campaigns,” the report says.

The software and technology industry was hit with the second highest number of attacks, accounting for 17 per cent of the total, while security providers faced 12 per cent of all attacks.

Some 9 per cent of banks and other major financial institutions have suffered DDoS attacks in 2014, and Prolexic warns that campaigns against the financial industry will resume. “Infrastructure layer attacks pose the greatest threat to this industry due to the importance of the always-on services they provide.”

The gaming industry comes in fifth, with 7 per cent of all attacks, allegedly organized by players seeking a competitive advantage.

The report also states DDoS attackers prefer reflection and amplification techniques over traditional botnet infections. Attackers use amplification to increase traffic volume by overloading an application server with requests that appear to come from legitimate users. The amount of data sent back to a targeted site can make it unavailable.

The US was the most common origin of attacks, with 21 percent of the total, followed by China, Thailand, Turkey and Germany.

Prolexic, now part of Akamai, is a distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation service provider.