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DDOS Attacks are an Emerging Cyber Threat

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The criminals jam your system without an actual hack.

The closing months of 2021 saw a flurry of ransomware cases involving distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks.

DDOS attacks are popular with criminals because they don’t require an actual hack of a company. They simply jam the system so that the network becomes overloaded. Then the threat actor demands a ransom payment to unlock the system.

“A DDOS attack targets a website or other online service,” writes cybersecurity lawyer Jena M. Valdetero. “The attacker attempts to flood a targeted service with traffic by using numerous compromised computer systems, including IoT devices, as sources of attack traffic. Think of a DDOS attack like your home phone from the 1980s. If multiple callers are constantly calling your number, legitimate callers will get a constant busy signal. The goal, of course, is to get a company to pay the threat actors to stop the attack and resume normal operations.”

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DDOS campaigns are becoming a go-to strategy for cyber-extortionists, according to Valdetero, a shareholder with Greenberg Traurig. They usuallt take one of two forms:

“First, as an add-on to a ransomware attack,” she writes. “Ransomware attacks have evolved over the past several years beyond simply encrypting a company’s servers and endpoints, to increasingly exfiltrating and threatening to publicly post or sell company data, to now threatening and/or committing DDOS attacks. Second, certain threat actors are skipping the ransomware attack and heading straight to the threat of a DDOS attack.”

Sometimes, the threat is a bluff.

“Fortunately, some of these actors are bluffing and lack the resources to conduct a full-blown attack,” according to Valdetero. “They may instead hit a company’s network with a short burst of traffic, and then will use that burst to suggest they have much more firepower behind them. Others, however, are conducting full-blown attacks.”

Source: Uptick in Distributed Denial of Service Attacks During Holidays (

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In an age of consolidation where increasingly impersonal transactions have made customer service an oxymoron, we bring together independent agents, insurance companies, and other industry specific service providers to develop and deliver insurance products and risk management solutions that benefit our insurance customers.

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