The websites of the largest daily newspapers in Sweden were targeted by a massive denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on the evening of Saturday 19th March, causing many of them to be unavailable for up to three hours. The affected websites included SvD.se (Svenska Dagbladet), Aftonbladet.se, Expressen.se, DN.se (Dagens Nyheter), GP.se (Goteborgs Posten), DI.se (Dagens Industri), and HD.se (Helsingborgs Dagbladet).
No-one has claimed responsibility for the disruptive attack as yet, although some reports indicate that much of the traffic originated from Russian IP addresses. However, this is not a reliable indicator, as the IP addresses could simply represent a large number of infected, hijacked computers used in the attack.
Sweden’s Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said that the “deeply troubling” incident was an “attack on free speech”, and has invited media companies to discuss the attacks as part of Sweden’s national cyber security review. He said: “I think we need to discuss if there are things we can do together to improve IT security.”
The good news is, there ARE several things that can be done to improve security. As we’ve posted previously, DDoS attacks are growing fast, in number and intensity, because they are easy for hackers to do. Gartner has stated that financial institutions are paying anti-DDoS ransoms to the damage that a DDoS-related attack causes.
So organizations need to put simple solutions in place to mitigate their risk of being taken offline by a DDoS attempt. These include properly segmenting a network, limiting the number of connections and managing load balancing and bandwidth. Also, all of Clavister’s Next Generation Firewall solutions come with DDoS prevention and mitigation features as standard, which helps reduce the chance of an attack succeeding. To find out more visit our website here.