Closing 2022: Recent DDoS Attacks

As we start 2023 and look back at the last months of 2022, we can clearly see that the passing year saw a dramatic rise in politically motivated DDoS attacks on the one hand and malicious ransom DDoS attacks on the other. Financial and governments continue to be the most sought-after targets for DDoS attacks, with these attacks spanning and reaching every major country and organization. In addition, in November of 2022, CISA and the FBI published an official report about the growing danger of DDoS attacks. This could be the reason for the attack on the FBI’s site, which lasted three hours. This article will examine the last couple of months of 2022 to identify the recent DDoS attacks trend.

Of all the major recent DDoS attacks that took place in November and December of 2022, more than 10 DDoS attacks lasted several hours, and in the worst cases, several days. These attacks resulted in major financial and governmental sites shutting down for over three hours. In November, “BikePortland”, a US-based Ecommerce organization, was attacked and forced to shut down for a week. “Loopring”, an American trading platform, was shut down for four hours, and the FBI’s site was down for three whole hours on November 14th. A few days before, a Russian hacktivist group, “The People’s Cyberarmy”, called on its members to target the American Democratic party website. This resulted in the site going down for five hours, right after the midterm elections. The Greek government’s site was down for 72 whole hours, with more than 800 services of Greece’s being frozen by an unprecedented DDoS attack. A major Swiss trading platform was down for about 10 hours, and in North Korea, a leading internet provider was shut down for five hours, resulting in disrupting regular activity for the national airline and major internal email servers.

Three major DDoS attacks that took place in December lasted over 24 hours. The shortest of the three was an attack on Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces, combined with a DDoS attack on two leading financial institutions, leading to several hours of official downtime. The Russian bank VTB was under a five-day attack, which caused disruptions throughout the entire period. The third major attack targeted The Metropolitan Opera in New York, and it lasted seven whole days, with a total downtime of over 24 hours. Online operations, including commerce, were affected and damaged, and an official statement from the Opera confirmed that internal files were also breached.

As we can see, the end of 2022 introduced a new DDoS attacks trend, which is longer and more complicated attacks. These recent DDoS attacks prove, yet again, that the DDoS threat is constantly evolving and causing major disruption and severe damages, with a clear trend of targeting major industries with complex DDoS attacks. The motivations may vary from pure greed to disruption for the sake of it or political ideology, but the results are always significant downtime and total disruption of services. As proven throughout 2022, no one is safe and DDoS attacks can hit anyone, anywhere, anytime. But DDoS resilience is something that can be achieved with a few simple steps, and any organization can get critical insight into their DDoS vulnerabilities. 2023 is going to continue with evolving DDoS attacks trends, and organizations should remediate their vulnerabilities to reach the highest form of DDoS resilience, with DDoS attack surface management.

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