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TDWI Upside - Where Data Means Business

Security Threat Statistics Shed Light on Global Hacking

The U.S. faced four times the number of DDoS attacks as China last month; government data leaks nearly triple in one year.

According to Atlas VPN, data it gathered and analyzed shows that the U.S. faced nearly four times the number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks in March 2020 (175,000) than did China (with 45,000 attacks). South Korea, Brazil, and the U.K. rounded out the top five list of most DDoS-attacked countries last month. The U.S. attacks represent 21.6 percent of the global attacks in March, according to real-time data provider Netscout, Atlas VPN says.

The difference in attack volume between the U.S. and China is "significant [but] not surprising. China is known for its harsh methods used to censor information on the internet and its ways of shutting down anything that does not please the Communist Party. Furthermore, many Chinese websites are inaccessible for people from other countries, and VPN services are banned there, so VPN providers do not offer servers in China."

Atlas VPN says hackers are focusing on the U.S. because "they have much more to target there. The internet in the U.S. is significantly less restricted, so there are more services cybercriminals can get their hands on."

During that month, more than half (54.1 percent) of DDoS attacks originated from United States-based IP addresses, although that does not mean the attacks originated in the U.S. because of the IP spoofing VPNs enable. The U.K., Germany, Netherlands, and France were the other origin countries in the top five.

The company says that hackers typically use DDoS attacks to target services to disrupt normal operations. "Revenge, blackmail, and activism are the most common motives."

In a separate report, the company noted that governments continue to be cyber targets. Among the highlights of the company's research (based on several publicly available data sources):

  • In Q1 2020, the number of leaked government records rose to over 17 million, an increase of 278 percent over the same period in 2019.

  • In March 2020, the Dutch government revealed that it lost two external hard drives which contained personal information from over 6.9 million organ donors. In February, the government of Quebec, Canada, said it was the victim of a data breach, leaving as many as 300,000 records of teachers exposed.

  • "Malware, phishing, and command and control were the most common types of cyberattacks [in March 2020]." The company said there were 80,000 malware attacks globally that month, as well as 30,000 phishing attacks and 40,000 command and control attacks.

For Further Reading:

Can AI Solve Our Cybersecurity Challenges?

Security Considerations for Hybrid Cloud Data Management and Storage

Why Encryption Holds the Secret to Data Security

About the Author

James E. Powell is the editorial director of TDWI, including research reports, the Business Intelligence Journal, and Upside newsletter. You can contact him via email here.

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