Ransomware and DDoS Attacks

Don’t look now, but there’s a new trend happening in cybersecurity that takes into account the range of attacks that hackers and criminals are directing against targeted systems.


Yes, in the cybersec world it seems like you’re looking at something new every day, especially if you’re a security professional or small business executive who’s trying to maintain and stay one step ahead of the instigators.


Right now, people are talking about ransomware operators adding a specific DDoS component to attacks. Let’s talk a little bit about how that works, so that you know how to avoid it with your systems, and what’s important in keeping these kinds of damaging attackers at bay. 


The Ransomware Attack


The traditional attack is a ransomware attack, where the cyber attacker takes data in a network and holds it for ransom. They lock down part of your system or steal part of your data and keep it until you pay them, usually in Bitcoin or some other cyrptocurrency, for the purposes of anonymity.


With the anonymous payment protocols and international attacks, it’s hard to resolve these cases with either extradition or some kind of other enforcement. Investigators can investigate – but if the hackers are situated beyond the long arm of the law, and in shady parts of the dark web, it can be next to impossible to do anything about enforcement. 


DDoS Attacks


Here’s the new wrinkle that happens with a DDoS attack. In addition to taking parts of your system hostage, the attackers will also direct botnets or other traffic sources to flood your network with server requests. They’re betting that your system won’t be able to handle it, and that it will fold, compromising your operations in real time.


Ransomware operators who deploy this kind of attack are hoping that the additional damage in terms of disrupting your client traffic in real-time helps convince the victim to pay up by showing that the hackers are “serious” (as if locking down your drive wasn’t serious enough.) In general, this new trend just shows how bent bad actors are on compromising networks. From Colonial Pipeline to JBS Meat Packing, neither government nor business offices are immune. 


This combination of ransomware and DDoS is a calibrated and orchestrated one-two punch that leaves some victims helpless. However, at P2P Computer Solutions, we work to help our clients secure their systems and stay ahead of the game. Talk to our offices in State College.


Up Next: How To Protect Your Personal Computer From Dangerous Viruses