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DDoS attacks on telecom companies surge in early 2021

According to StormWall IT security experts, DDoS attacks against telecom companies are on the rise. The surge of such attacks was first detected in early 2021, during the New Year holidays. This January, the incidence of DDoS attacks on the telecom sector has increased by 10% compared with January 2020 and by 34% compared with December 2020, as indicated by data shared by StormWall clients. Hackers mainly targeted small Internet service providers, hosting providers and small data centers with insufficient resources to protect the infrastructure from large-scale DDoS attacks.

What really stood out in early 2021 is the overwhelming intensity of DDoS attacks. Previously, attacks with bandwidth exceeding 100 Gbps were quite a rare sight. They usually averaged at 10Gbps, as this was just enough to disrupt or shut down most of their target pool, mainly represented by smaller enterprises. However in January-February 2021, daily attacks with 200+ Gbps bandwidths suddenly went mainstream. This surge can mainly be attributed to the emergence of a new botnet, available for rent from cybercriminals operating via Telegram, for only $500 a week. With an attack bandwidth of 300-400 Gbps, the capacity of the botnet matches that of a large datacentre or even a small state. With no special knowledge or skill necessary to operate it, the botnet became rather popular among bad actors. To appeal to a larger customer base, its creators even offered a free pre-purchase “test drive” of the botnet.

 “The pandemic serves as a powerful driver for cybercriminals, and we have seen a constant increase in DDoS attack incidence lately. This can be explained both by the increased availability of hacker tools and by the very fact that uninterrupted access to the Internet has become a basic necessity during the pandemic. Which is why the telecom sector in particular has become a prime target for bad actors. Paradoxically, telecom companies are also easier to attack compared to their customers (users, websites and other Internet entities), as they need to protect a much larger pool of resources, and it is sometimes easier to shut down an entire network than a single IP address. Therefore, having an effective DDoS protection strategy in the telecom sector has already become not just a recommendation, but the very foundation that the business must be built upon”, says Ramil Khantimirov, CEO and co-founder of StormWall.

 According to the company’s experts, the number and power of DDoS attacks is bound to grow in 2021. Telecom enterprises in particular are under a real threat, so it is time to step up their IT security game and introduce effective measures to protect their online resources before it’s too late.

Lisa Baker is Group Editor for the Need to See IT Publishing Group. Lisa writes about HR, Technology, Health, the Environment and Business.
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