Head To Head: DDoS & Hacktivism

By root

IT experts Safenet and help AG go head-to-head on DDoS and regional hacktivism..
Miguel Braojos, Vice president of sales Southern EMEA, Safenet
Nicolai Solling, Director of Technology Services, help AG
Are DDoS attacks just an embarrassment for entities, or do you think they do real damage to a business?
MB: Besides the obvious embarrassment of the enterprise that has suffered a DDoS attack, the damage to the business can be long-term, especially when it comes to the reputation of the company. It is not always easy to regain the trust of the clients or stakeholders, as the company would appear vulnerable and easy prey.
NS: Although damage to reputation is the motivation behind most of the attacks in the region, the impact of a successful DDoS attack extends beyond this. Disruption of service, damage to reputation, regulatory and compliance issues, and potential damage to equipment are all potential implications of DDoS.
What motivates DDoS attackers?
MB: One of the main reasons in the good old days of vintage hacking was the reputation of the hacker, who typically targeted high-profile entities. Things aren’t that simple anymore. Hacking is big business and attacks can be complex and well-planned with a commercial objective or reward.
NS: Recent attacks have been executed to draw attention to political or ideological causes. This is the prime motivation behind DDoS attacks, a fact that is corroborated by a report from Arbor Networks. The report found two-thirds of DDoS attacks globally were motivated by politics, ideology, nihilism or vandalism.
What is your opinion of hacktivism?
MB: Hacktivism is controversial and the lines are blurred, as it can be used for supporting valid causes such as protests against a company that employs child labour, as well as for illegal, unethical attacks. It is not an activity that is usually tolerated or encouraged as there are far more acceptable ways to generate awareness.
NS: Because of the political turmoil in the region, hacktivism is rampant. With hactivism being the motivation behind DDoS attacks, predicting which organisation will next fall victim is now quite a daunting challenge. It is no longer what a company does that makes it a target for attackers.

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