This post was originally published on Network Computing
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have gone through evolutionary changes over the years. Back in the day, they would mostly revolve around the shenanigans of hacktivists motivated by political or other types of protest. These noble hues of DDoS nearly vanished as cybercriminals realized they could leverage such attacks to get rich quickly.
The tactic is to threaten an organization to bring its website offline by firing an abnormally large volume of traffic at it. To prevent these threats from coming true, the victim is instructed to cough up a ransom in bitcoins or another form of cryptocurrency. This shift in the felons’ modus operandi has coined a new term, Ransom DDoS (RDoS). Whereas the intimidation is often all bark and no bite in these scenarios, a series of notorious incidents have demonstrated how viable this cybercrime model can get.
DDoS-as-a-Service democratizes extortion
It is getting easier for wannabe criminals to jump on the DDoS bandwagon. The entry bar went low with the emergence of what’s called DDoS-as-a-Service, or DDoS-for-Hire. These are platforms on the dark web that provide fully-fledged services for generating junk traffic that can be thrown at a specified target. Many of these leverage botnets consisting
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