Category Archives: Ddos Attack

Telegram Recovers from DDoS Attack

Telegram Messenger, which had suffered a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack recently, has reportedly recovered from the same and everything now seems stabilized, as per reports.

A ZDNet report, dated June 13, 2019, says, “Telegram Messenger has recovered from a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that hit its platform on Wednesday, telling its 200 million-plus users that for the moment, things seem to have stabilised.”

On June 12, Telegram had intimated users via Twitter about the DDoS attack. The Tweet said, “We’re currently experiencing a powerful DDoS attack, Telegram users in the Americas and some users from other countries may experience connection issues.”

Telegram even explained, in a rather funny and interesting manner, to users as to how DDoS attacks work- “A DDoS is a “Distributed Denial of Service attack”: your servers get GADZILLIONS of garbage requests which stop them from processing legitimate requests. Imagine that an army of lemmings just jumped the queue at McDonald’s in front of you – and each is ordering a whopper… The server is busy telling the whopper lemmings they came to the wrong place – but there are so many of them that the server can’t even see you to try and take your order.”

The users were also told how cybercriminals use botnets to make a DDoS attack almost similar to a “zombie apocalypse”, and also that it’s just about overloading the servers, thereby not at all impacting data security.
Eventually, Telegram told users that everything is ok and that things seem to have stabilized.

The fact that the timing of the DDoS attack on Telegram coincided with the Hong Kong extradition law protests organized on the platform has been pointed out. There are inferences that the attack was launched mostly from China. Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov has tweeted, “IP addresses coming mostly from China. Historically, all state actor-sized DDoS (200-400 Gb/s of junk) we experienced coincided in time with protests in Hong Kong (coordinated on @telegram). This case was not an exception.”

Massive and violent protests are going on in Hong Kong opposing the government’s plans to pass a bill that would allow extraditions to China. The protests were largely organized on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter and other messaging apps, like WhatsApp and Signal. The South China Morning Post had reported that protestors were using encrypted messenger apps to organize themselves, share intelligence and avoid police detection. The report also says that a Telegram group administrator was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance.

Telegram has played a key role in the organization of the protests as it allows the creation of groups for up to 200,000 people or to create channels for broadcasting to unlimited audiences. Moreover, it is seen as a secure way to communicate and avoid China’s strict surveillance regime as it allows encryption of messages. The South China Morning Post points out that though news about the current protests is being shared over Facebook and Twitter, much of the sensitive information sharing and coordination is done using Telegram and Signal. The report also says that the public is now more concerned about privacy especially after the Facebook data breach by Cambridge Analytica and the fast development of big data and surveillance technology in the mainland.

The South China Morning Post quotes Lokman Tsui, a professor at Chinese University researching media and technology, as saying, “People are smarter around technology now. They are using tech in a way that doesn’t give you away.” The report adds that according to Professor Lokman Tsui, some apps, including Telegram, are not safe as protestors assume them to be. He points out that messages over Telegram are not encrypted by default and that most people don’t know that they have to actually turn on the encryption feature.

Also, Read:

How Companies Fight DDoS Attacks?

How to Protect Businesses Against DDoS Attacks

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IT Security Sensitivity In The Financial Sector

IT Security’s importance is absolute, regardless of whether the corporate decision makers agree or not. It is the foundation where company’s survivability stands on. If a major failure occurs in the infrastructure or network that supports these IT services, it will be difficult to continue operations of any company worth its salt, and in an extreme case, the business itself may be brought to a standstill.

In addition, we are in the early days of IoT (Internet-of-Things) proliferation in the offices. In such an environment, many of the devices related to operations and services are always connected on the Internet and are exposed to external risks. One of the most exposed sectors that will negatively impact everyone if a successful infiltration cyber attack happens is the financial sector. Whether you are a student, a private sector employee, a public sector worker, an investor and banker, we are all dependent with our financial infrastructure: the banks, the lending institutions, stock brokerage companies, insurance firms they are all the foundation of our modern-day financial lives.

Unfortunately, many BCPs (Business Continuity Planning) in companies seem to be formulated on the assumption of large-scale natural disasters such as earthquakes and medical pandemics. Considering the magnitude of business impact, in addition to the current BCP that assumes large-scale natural disasters, there is also a need to formulate BCPs that assume major IT security issues that are likely to occur anytime of the day. Do we really want our financial systems getting into trouble, for the lack of IT-specific BCPs in-place?

When a company is targeted for cyber attack, the company’s brand and reputation are heavily damaged, some even went out of business, fully losing customer confidence with their products and services. We may lose the trust of society, the very fabric of our daily lives once the financial systems are subjected to disastrous levels of cyber attacks.

Here in this article we will focus on discussing DDoS attack, the targeted email attack, and the ransomware attacks against companies in general, financial firms in particular:

  • IT security issues carry the risk of compensation and social sanctions

There have been cases in which DDoS (Denial-of-Service) attacks were launched against a company providing an online service, and the service could not be provided for about six days after the server was shut down. Imagine it being your bank; no financial transactions are possible for such a length of time. Damage occurs every minute of downtime for lost productivity, lost investment opportunities, lost sales, and lost time to service bank customers.

In such a company, because the service is premised to be connected to the Internet, a temporary stop of service can lead to a decline in customer trust. Even more than a week of service outages can be fatal. It can be imagined that during the suspension period, there are quite a few customers who can not return as they are using other services. Depression to a victim company, fraudulent act example

In DDoS attacks, in addition to being forced to stop services, there are cases of panic that directly requests money, and while attackers start the DDoS attacks themselves. In some cases the fraudulent acts that require compensation for customers that may cost the financial firm a lot of money. This can even escalate to a point that the firm has to file bankruptcy as they can no longer monetarily recover.

  • Financial institutions forced to stop all ATMs

There is a possibility that a cyber attack originated a seemingly innocent-looking email and financial institutions and television stations were seriously damaged due to one of their employees opened the malicious attachment it contains. At financial institutions, ATMs installed at computers and sales offices were shut down at the same time, most common reason being a “security precaution.” Time and transaction opportunities lost from its customers can no longer be recovered, as it leaves a permanent mark of shame against the financial institution.

  • Ransom demand (due to Ransomware infections) are damaging

Globally speaking there have been case reports of intrusion into various networks caused by malware which encrypts the hard disk of a PC and the need for ransom in order to recover the encrypted files. At the same facility, the PCs infected are rendered unusable, with employees downgrading to the use of telephone, fax, and manual documentation procedures until all the computers involved are cleanly reformatted.

If only security measures are taken in advance against these cyber attacks, it may be thought that business impact may be reduced. It goes without saying that if thorough countermeasures are taken, the possibility of bouncing back from a huge controversy such as malware infection is possible, given enough time to recover.

  • Mass disinformation against a corporate target

We have all witness every day the harmful effects of fake news, and the people behind them causes terrible damage against their target entities. Financial services companies cannot possibly defend itself against all possible defamation acts of fake news makers. Given that financial entities are also public companies by nature, the stockholders’ confidence may slip, if the fake news claims “sounds correct.” Not all jurisdictions provide an anti fake news law, that is unfortunate. Hence, we can only watch this space hoping for a good development on this issue.

In addition to taking thorough defense measures, it is necessary to formulate and embody a business continuity plan that assumes “disasters” in the unlikely IT event of continual review. From the attack method and the damage case mentioned above, we at hackercombat.com think that it is possible to know how important it is to firmly build a BCP plan that can withstand even the most challenging IT security challenges. Continue reading our articles here at hackercombat.com to broaden your view of the cybersecurity world and all the IT challenges everyone faces everyday.

Related Blogs:

IT Security Culture Evolution of Businesses Exposed

How Financial Apps Could Render You Vulnerable to Attacks

IoT Devices and a More Secure Future

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