What is Distributed Denial-of-Service attack (DDoS) attack?
A DDoS attack is an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by using multiple hosts attempting to connect simultaneously to the victim machine. It consists of the efforts of one or more people to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend services of a host connected to the Internet. Typical target sites include high-profile web servers such as banks, credit card payment gateways, and root name servers.
The attack involves saturating the target machine with huge number of external requests, such that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered effectively unavailable. The objective of these attacks is to either force the targeted computer(s) to reset, or rapidly consume its resources so that it can no longer provide its intended service.
How DDOS attacks are a threat to your organization?
These attacks violate Internet proper use policy, the acceptable use policies of virtually all Internet service providers. They cause huge productivity losses to the organizations as the services offered by the organizations are rendered unavailable due to saturation of servers. They damage hard earned positive brand image of a financial institution by rapid erosion of its stakeholder’s confidence.
What can happen due to DDoS?
- Rapid consumption of computational resources, such as bandwidth, disk space, or processor time.
- Disruption of routing information.
- Multiple errors triggered in interconnected machines.
- Multiple errors in the sequencing of instructions, forcing the connected computer into an unstable state or lock-up.
- Almost instant resource starvation and/or thrashing in interconnected machines i.e. to using up all available facilities.
What is the rationale for using DDoS attacks against financial institutions?
This is a smart diversion technique to camouflage the real hacker intention; which is to siphon out user data while security and network administrators are busy fixing congested data network pipes.
Additionally, panic waves and knee-jerk reactions are spread among public at large when customers find out that they are unable to access their accounts online. Many important transactions are simply delayed or rolled back during peak business hours.
This results in major reputation loss for financial institutes. Banks will be forced to face embarrassing litigation suits if these issues are not promptly fixed.
Longer the "Access Denied" period stays, greater the financial and reputation losses along with rapid depletion of stakeholder confidence are suffered by these financial institutions.
How can we help?
NII can help you to simulate DDOS attacks on selected infrastructure by executing its unique DDOS testing methodology which effectively demonstrates how robust your IT infrastructure is if a DDOS attack were to happen. By planning thoroughly and making sure the testing is executed in a tightly controlled manner that does not affect your production environment, we are able to provide a fairly accurate picture of your potential susceptibility to such an attack.
Write to us for more details on our DDOS methodology.