Distributed Denial of Service is known for damaging enterprises for over $2.3 million and negatively affecting the reputation of companies that had to recover from these cyberattacks. Read more about DDoS attacks and their role in mining for Bitcoin using botnets.
What is a Distributed Denial of Service Attack?
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS for short) is the type of malicious cyberattack that disrupts websites, apps, and sometimes entire networks.
Not every Distributed Denial of Service attack is the same. They focus on different vectors (HTTP, for instance), and hackers have different intentions, sometimes to threaten and other times to take down organizations.
These cyberattacks are executed by multiple hackers or hacktivist groups that use multiple powerful devices that that are known as botnets when connected.
The role of botnets in Distributed Denial of Service type attacks is to overload the site or network with malicious traffic and cause disruptions.
Disruptions usually refer to stopping the sites from working or slow loading. Some DDoS attacks can go unnoticed as they merely slow down the site, and other take down entire networks for days.
That’s important because the duration of an attack is correlated to the duration of recovery.
In the meantime, they can steal data such as passwords from cryptocurrency users.
Damage that DDoS attacks cause also varies on the protection systems different companies have. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check if your Bitcoin providers protect their systems from frequent attacks like DDoS.
DDoS Executed by Botnets
Larger scale DDoS attacks always use botnets, multiple devices connected together that target one system. The source botnet, also known as “botmaster,” is also the individual with all the power.
It’s also possible that there is more than one source of botnet that can be controlled by several individuals that communicate using hidden channels.
It’s not uncommon that such services are being traded with anyone able to buy services such as botnets and use them to attack various sites.
It goes without saying that Distributed Denial of Service attacks using botnets are calculated, destructive, and illegal.
Botnets Mining for Bitcoin
Hackers have been targeting financial institutions even before everything was accessible online. It’s no wonder that when a new type of online virtual currency appeared, it became a new target for hackers and hacktivists.
Bitcoin mining is interesting to hackers because, unlike other currencies used in the world, Bitcoin is not regulated by a central authority.
Mining Bitcoin also gained in popularity ever since Bitcoin became popular. Computers used for this can even resemble powerful hacking devices.
Since Bitcoin mining became more widespread, computers that are specialized for that kind of activity have become available as well.
In 2014, we were assured that you couldn’t mine Bitcoin or any other currency using botnets. As we know, botnets are often auctioned at all-time low prices, and anyone can buy them to mine Bitcoin.
Technology has also progressed and made this possibility more dangerous than ever.
This year, Vollgar, the botnet that had been mining less known currency altcoin for at least two years, has proven that you can use this type of attack for a significant financial gain and go unnoticed.
Cybersecurity researcher Ophir Harpaz comments on the Vollgar attacks by highlighting the role of the servers that hold cryptocurrencies and their lack of cybersecurity measures:
“Unfortunately, oblivious or negligent registrars and hosting companies are part of the problem, as they allow attackers to use IP addresses and domain names to host whole infrastructures. If these providers continue to look the other way, mass-scale attacks will continue to prosper and operate under the radar for long periods of time.”
Keep in mind that hackers on the scale, such as Vollgar, will use other cyberattack techniques along the way and have access to passwords, credit card information, etc. What’s more, attacks on the same server and clients on the server can be reoccurring.
That brings us back to the point that you have a right to check the level of security the providers of cryptocurrencies and servers that hold them employ to secure your money and data against common attacks such as DDoS.
Distributed Denial of Service attacks are common. There is no telling who might get their hands on your cryptocurrency, and the aftermath of such attacks is indisputably damaging to any organization but also users of their services.
Botnets have proven the level of financial damage they could cause due to the continually evolving technology hackers use to attack sites nowadays.
Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay