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Businesses Blame DDoS Attacks on Rival Companies

Many businesses who were victims of a DDoS attack believe it was launched by a competitor, new research has revealed. The research conducted by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International found that victims are more likely to blame rivals than cyber-criminals.

Kaspersky said that more than two in five (43%) of DDoS victims believed they were targeted by a competitor, ahead of cyber-criminals, who were suspected by 38% of victims.

Overall, industrial sabotage was considered the most likely reason behind a DDoS attack, followed by political conspiracy and personal vendettas; in total 20% blamed foreign governments and 21% suspected disgruntled workers or ex-members of staff.

The results of Kaspersky’s research have interesting regional variations: in Asia-Pacific 56% of DDoS victims claim to have been attacked by a competitor, while in Western Europe that figure is just 37%. In Asia-Pacific, over quarter (28%) blame foreign governments and 33% blame former staff. In Western Europe 17% point the finger at foreign governments.

Interestingly, it is smaller businesses that are more likely to blame a rival company for a DDoS attack. Nearly half (48%) of SMBs surveyed believe that to be the case, compared to 36% of enterprises. Those bigger businesses, however, are more likely to blame former employees and foreign governments.

“It is clear that businesses feel their IT systems and private data are under siege from all sides,” says Kirill Ilganaev, head of Kaspersky DDoS protection at Kaspersky Lab. “With DDoS attacks becoming so frequent and so crippling, many suspect their competitors are behind them, as they look for ways to put their rivals out of action and steal their customers as a result.”

The effectiveness and relative lack of resources needed to launch a DDoS attack mean they are a very popular form of cyber-attack. While no data is stolen through a DDoS attack, many are being used as a smokescreen for cyber-criminals to attack another part of the business. 

Successful DDoS attacks can bring down services, causing a loss of revenue and damage to a company’s reputation. Service interruptions from DDoS attacks rose 162% in 2016, according to research from SurfWatch Labs.

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