DDoS Hackers Target Telecom and Education Segments in September 2020

Findings from MazeBolt’s Monthly `Worldwide List of DDoS Attacks – Sep 2020’ Report

Telcos Badly Hit by DDoS

September saw more than a dozen Telcos across Europe being hit by DDoS attacks that targeted their DNS infrastructure. The attacks which went on for over 24 hours were mitigated but their effects have caused widescale outages and connectivity challenges.

These attacks follow in the footsteps of the massive attack on Telstra last month, which caused the internet to go down for Telstra’s customers as the domain name server (DNS) overwhelmed the company’s network infrastructure.

In a separate incident in September, Iceland country’s main telecommunications and co-location hosting services were also hit by a DDoS attack. The media reports that the attack led to a feeling of 'uncertainty', for the first time in history about telecom services in Iceland.

The disruptions caused by the surge in DDoS attacks have left many of the affected countries still reeling under the effect.   For example, SwissSign from Switzerland lost a key customer as email provider ProtonMail moved over to the company Let’s Encrypt amid the disruption.   In France, when SFR and Bouygues Telecom were attacked, media reports claim that internet services were affected with 1000s reporting breakdowns and unusual delays in connecting to websites throughout France.

Online Education Suffers DDoS Attacks

There has also been a surge in attacks on educational institutions this month.   According to new research by Kaspersky, DDoS attacks against online educational resources were over three times more prevalent in 2020 than they were last year. Impacted platforms included Moodle, Zoom, edX, Coursera, Google Meet, Google Classroom, and Blackboard. 

This month specifically, online instruction at Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida was disrupted by distributed denial-of-service attacks. On Sept. 2, Miami-Dade schools canceled online classes for 200,000 students due to a series of DDoS attacks.

In another incident, this month, students, and teachers in Pickens County were unable to login to any district portals due to a DDoS attack. 16,300 students from the Pickens County School District, which is South Carolina's fifteenth largest district were left staring at `Error 404’ on their screens for over two hours till the attack was mitigated.

DDoS attacks on educational institutions cause significant operational disruption denying students and staff access to critical materials.

Here is information on all the attacks during September 2020. Click here, for `August 2020’s Worldwide DDoS Attacks Report'.

About MazeBolt

MazeBolt is an innovation leader in cybersecurity and part of the DDoS mitigation space. Offering full DDoS risk detection and elimination and working with any mitigation system to provide end to end full coverage. Supporting organizations in avoiding downtime and closing DDoS vulnerabilities before an attack happens.

References

  1. https://www.ciodive.com/news/outages-ddos-attacks-internet-infrastructure-CenturyLink/584720/
  2. https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/ddos-attacks-on-virtual-education/
  3. https://www.intelligentcio.com/me/2020/09/15/ddos-attacks-against-educational-resources-increased-by-more-than-350-says-kaspersky/
  4. https://www.bankinfosecurity.com/cyber-incidents-disrupt-more-schools-a-14961