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DDoS Attacks Against Financial Institutions Rise

Security firm Prolexic reports that financial services firms were the target of increased attacks.

Financial services firms saw a 25 percent increase in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks during the first quarter of 2012 compares to the same quarter last year, according to Prolexic, a provider of DDoS mitigation services.

According to the Prolexic Security Engineering and Response Team, January was by far the most active month for DDoS attacks, accounting for 41 percent of the quarter's total attacks. The number of attacks then steadily declined throughout the quarter with January being the most active and March being the least active.

The most active week of the quarter was the week of February 12-19, which accounted for 40 percent of that month's total attacks.

During the first quarter, Prolexic said it saw a "significant increase" in DDoS attacks against financial services organizations, both in quantity and intensity. The total number of attacks against the financial services sector almost tripled compared to Q1 2011. During Q1 2012, there was a significant increase in malicious traffic with 65TB of data and 1.1 trillion packets that were identified and mitigated.

Despite the overall increase in attacks as compared to Q1 2011, Prolexic indicated that the split between attack types remained virtually identical. Seventy-three percent were infrastructure attacks (layer 3 and 4) while 27% percent were aimed at the application layer (Layer 7).

[Related: Hackers Take Down Visa, MasterCard Websites in Response to their Wikileaks Stance]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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