DDoS Attack Threats Mount On Gambling Sites

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DDoS Attack Threats Mount On Gambling Sites

Online gambling sites have a lot to consider when it comes to security, with operators in need of ever more sophisticated technology to spot cheaters and those trying to manipulate vulnerabilities in the system for their own personal gain. Furthermore, internet gambling companies need to safeguard their player information, whilst also taking steps to prevent their websites from being used for criminal activities such as money laundering. If all this wasn’t challenging enough, now there is another threat that is increasingly becoming a problem for the industry, namely the dreaded distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

What are DDoS Attacks?

Basically, a DDoS attack involves flooding the server of a site with so many requests that it makes it impossible for the site to function. There are many reasons why hackers launch attacks. Sometimes, it is a form of vigilante justice with hackers responding to a story in the media or to actions taken by the site, while at other times, a site may secretly pay hackers to disrupt the service provided by their competitors. In some cases, however, hackers are simply doing what they’re doing to cause chaos or get attention.

DDoS Attack Statistics

Here are some facts about DDoS attacks and how they affect online gambling sites:

– Large DDoS attacks are on the rise. During the first half of 2014 there were 350 percent more than there were during the first half of 2013, and numbers are believed to only have risen since then.

– Nine out of 20 online gambling businesses have suffered at least one major DDoS attack.

– About 50 percent of all DDoS attacks are believed to have originated from funds provided by competitors.

– Every week, 10 percent of all online gambling sites receive at least one DDoS attack.

– Three out of every four online gambling sites that suffers a DDoS attack will be hit with another attack. A little less than half of all sites who are attacked once are attacked again within 2 months.

– About 20 percent of all network DDoS attacks persist for five days or more, with many of those sites affected completely or partially unavailable during that time. In other instances, some sites may be available but running slowly.

– Roughly 14.9 percent of all DDoS attacks originate in China, making the country the biggest hotbed for DDoS bots in the world. In the meantime, Vietnam is the second most popular place of origin with 13.8 percent of all attacks, followed by the U.S. in third place with 9.7 percent, and Brazil a close fourth at 9.5 percent. In fifth place is Thailand with 8.1 percent of attacks.

Possible Solutions

So what can online gambling sites do about the problem? While some companies develop their own anti-DDoS technology, others rely on third-party software services to mitigate some attacks. Despite the expenses involved, such measures can be vital to a business’s survival, especially with some attacks costing a company tens of thousands of dollars depending on how swiftly the attack is dealt with.

Commenting on the increasingly challenging situation for online companies, Alexey Kiselev, Project Manager for the Kaspersky DDoS Protection team, explained recently on informationsecuritybuzz.com:

“Our research demonstrates that DDoS attacks are one of the most expensive cyber-threats for companies.. Just one single DDoS attack can disable the online services for long periods of time, damage the company’s reputation and deprive it of its current or future customers. There have been incidents where prolonged DDoS attacks have led to the bankruptcy and closure of successful online businesses.”

Major Attacks across USA and Europe

DDoS attacks don’t just affect gambling sites. Two Christmases in a row, for instance, Sony’s online system was attacked, making it impossible for people to use the brand new PlayStation’s that they received during the holidays. Likewise, other major sites such as Amazon and eBay are constantly having to take steps to fight back against DDoS attacks to their business.

A prime example of this occurred on October 21st, when the servers of Dyn were subjected to a massive DDoS atack, causing widespread internet disruptions across Europe and the US. The New Hampshire–based company plays a huge part in controlling much of the DNS infrastructure of the internet, and following its attack the list of companies that subsequently went down included Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, CNN, and the Guardian, to name but a few.

According to initial reports, the DDoS attack was apparently started by a non-state group, raising the question as to how much damage a well-funded state actor could do if it so chose. Commenting on the worrying incident, Joe Weiss from cyber security firm Applied Control Solutions stated:

“A lot of these cyber-attacks start out as one particular type of attack and then they morph into something new or different. A lot of this is modular software. I can’t speak for anyone else [but] I don’t know that we really understand what the endgame is.”

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