Computer Crime Research Center


Internet faces increased threat from hackers

Date: November 12, 2008

A survey of 70 of the world's biggest internet companies found growing concern over a range of new threats from malicious hackers, many of them rival criminal gangs trying to damage each other's operatons.

The chief weapon remains so-called botnets, or networks of infected or robot PCs, which can be hijacked by the hacker to send vast amounts of data over the internet.

The sheer volume of data can swamp computer servers and bring down entire networks.

The new study by Arbor Networks, a US company that helps internet service providers (ISPs) monitor the performance of their networks, found that the size of the biggest botnet attacks has grown a hundredfold since 2000.

Hackers have sprayed up to 40 gigabits of data around the internet in recent attacks which, given that the biggest networks carry only a quarter of that amount, is guaranteed to overwhelm the system.

Many of the attacks are carried out by one group of cyber-criminals against another as they fight over control of online scams such as pyramid schemes.

In at least one case, internet companies admitted that the attack only stopped because the hacker was paid off. In many cases, victims said they didn't even bother to alert the authorities about the attack.

An increasingly popular technique employed by hackers to launch the biggest internet attacks is called reflective amplification and involves hijacking a small number of computer than can channel a vast amount of data toward a victim.

The study's authors said they had noticed a significant increase in attacks being targeted at e-commerce sites.

They also noted that while the ferocity and frequency of the hackers' attacks were growing, the capability of their targets to cope was weakening due to financial pressures.

Original article

Add comment  Email to a Friend

Discussion is closed - view comments archieve
2008-11-15 06:56:44 - I am not surprised. Each month I attend a... Mike Orton
Total 1 comments
Copyright © 2001-2013 Computer Crime Research Center
CCRC logo