Most DDoS Victims Think They Know Their Attackers

Nearly half of companies hit by DDoS attacks believe their competitors are responsible

The increasing number of DDoS (Direct Denial of Service) attacks against leading companies may well be down to some organisations looking to orchestrate disruption against their competitors, a new study has suggested.

A survey from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International has found that nearly half (48 percent) of companies recently affected by DDoS attacks claim to know who is responsible.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, business rivals or competitors looking to gain an advantage are the most common suspects, with sabotage named as the most likely motive.

Usual suspects?

DDoSOverall, criminals seeking to disrupt a company’s operations make up over a quarter (28 percent) of the suspects, a surprising one in eight (12 percent) companies believe that their competitors are responsible and have paid for DDoS attacks against them, making these cyber-threats even more harmful.

Companies working in the business services industry were particularly suspicious, with over a third (38 percent) believing that their competitors had been behind a DDoS attack.

Other potential culprits respondents include: criminals seeking to disrupt or distract while another attack took place (18 percent); criminals seeking to disrupt their services for a ransom (17 percent); political activists (11 percent); and governments or state powers (five percent).

“DDoS attacks are no longer just about cyber-criminals 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,” noted Evgeny Vigovsky, head of Kaspersky DDoS protection at Kaspersky Lab.

“No matter what industry you operate in, your organisation will have competitors, so it is wise to remain vigilant and fully understand the repercussions of a DDoS attack on your business in terms of the potential financial and reputational damage.”

A recent Akamai report found that the UK has become the leading originator of DDoS attacks, ahead of China and the US.

But the UK is also an increasingly popular target, after the report found that in the third quarter, the UK was the second most targeted country for web application attacks at seven percent of total attacks, with the United States (75 percent) taking top spot.

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