Joey Cresta, analyst at TBR, said the large-scale distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) cyberattack that flooded the servers of Domain Name System host Dyn on Friday, Oct. 21, underscores the need for increased investment in security.
Enabled by the increased connectivity of the Internet of Things and the growing ubiquity of digital transformation initiatives, these types of attacks will become more frequent as nation-states and rogue actors seek to undermine Western institutions, similar to the highly publicized hacking efforts focused on the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.
The clandestine nature of cyberattacks makes them an attractive alternative to real-world actions that would be considered too politically provocative for foes of the U.S. to execute, the analyst said.
Friday’s attack was the highest-profile DDoS incident thus far, but data show the situation was already escalating; Reston, Va.-based network infrastructure operator Verisign reported a 75 percent increase in these types of attacks between April and June 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.
As these attacks proliferate, it will be incumbent on the U.S. to continually improve its cyber posture. While Friday’s attacks were primarily little more than a nuisance to social media users, there are significantly more sinister possible outcomes of major DDoS attacks on critical government networks, especially those of the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).