18 Years Providing Weekly Foresight
The most accurate predictive letter in computing and telecommunications,
By Kevin Surace
Publisher's Note: Something interesting has been happening in the world of cyber attacks, and very few outside the security establishment have noticed it – yet – although it involves everyone reading this Special Letter.
Not long ago, security officials reported that hackers working for the Iranian government had mounted a series of extensive DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on Western banks. The motivation seemed clear: a response to sanctions against Iran over its ongoing nuclear program; and the results, to the public at least, predictable: a hassle.
DDoS attacks, after all, were historically considered the sledge hammer in a mostly surgical hacker toolset. Using botnets to array hundreds, or thousands, of servers to send simultaneous requests to a single Web server usually had the intended function: it overwhelmed the server, or at least made it difficult-to-impossible for the victim company's customers to access its services online. As time progressed, companies have found increasingly better ways to deal with these problems, and while they remain a threat, they have dropped down the ladder of worry.
But that was then....