What is so special about a DDoS hacker?

Sharon Holland

We recently looked at the many types of hackers, but now we take a closer look at which of hacker tends to perpetrate DDoS attacks and why they use this method.

DDoS attacks are one of the oldest types of cyberattacks, but they have still seen a massive growth recently. Why is this?  It doesn’t take particularly advanced hacking skills to block access to sites. DDoS attacks are brute force and all you need is a huge network – and that can be hired from a website or purchased on the dark web.  So you don’t even need those skills yourself – just an understanding of what you want to achieve.  This means those that are the driving force behind these attacks might not even be particularly techie – in short, almost anyone.

What motivates DDoS hackers?

Let’s take a look at the top reasons hackers want to launch a DDoS attack:

1. Hacktivism

DDoS attacks are often used to show support/opposition regarding a certain topic, which can be political, ethical, or even just because you do or don’t like a particular organization.  Showing your allegiance in this way has a much bigger and faster impact than almost any other type of activity.

2. Politics

DDoS attacks can also happen to (or between) countries or governments. This may be because you disagree with their political views or policies. As most governments need the web to administer the country this has proved to be an effect way to demonstrate your opposition.  With a lot of people believing that governments and countries themselves are above using these tactics, such as those in Estonia and Georgia.

3. Extortion

Organizations have been the subject of DDoS attacks after declining to pay a “ransom” that cybercriminals demanded to not attack their websites.  They are warned in advance and if they don’t pay up then an attack is launched.

4. Competitors

Many organizations believe that their competitors were launching DDoS attacks in order to disrupt their services. If your website is down where are these customers going to go?  To a competitor’s website.  This could cause considerable damage to the brand of the website that is the subject of the attack.

5. Revenge

The audience for this is large from governments and organizations down to individuals.  This is not necessarily done from a moral standpoint, rather you just want to exact revenge on someone/something who you feel has wronged you.  Although it is often easier for employees to take revenge via a data breach using their own credentials, there are an increasing number of examples of DDoS attacks as a way to seek revenge against an employer.  There are numerous cases in the online gaming industry due to disgruntled players.

6. A Test

Hackers can use a DDoS attack to test your systems so they know what they are up against before they plan something more substantial.  This will give them an idea as to whether a larger attack is likely to be spotted.

7. A Diversion

There are more and more examples of hackers using DDoS attack as a distraction for a larger attack.  While resources are focused on dealing with the DDoS attack hackers can be implementing a deadlier, targeted attack – often resulting in a data breach.

8. Fun

Sometimes there is just no sensible reason for an attack. Many hackers get a ‘buzz’,  an adrenaline rush, from hacking into a system or a website and taking it down, no matter how big or how small it may be.  It maybe as simple as showing off to their friends or just to prove to themselves they can do it.

This last one in particular is the most dangerous as it cannot be predicted and can come from the most unlikely source.  You may think your site is too small or boring to be attacked, but every system is a potential target. Therefore, EVERY organisation needs to protect themselves from a potential DDoS attack.

activereach can help you make sure you have the necessary precautions in place to protect your organization as well as testing services to ensure the measures you have in place will provide adequate protection when you are hit with a DDoS attack.  Contact us today or call us on 0845 625 9025