DDoS Attacks on SCADA to Become More Frequent and Robust in 2013

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Nexusguard, the premium anti-DDoS service provider, warns that Distributed Denial-of-services (DDoS) attacks towards governmental bodies will become more frequent and robust in 2013, posing a significant threat to public services and security.

“A real case of SCADA systems failure was in Shenzhen; the WIFI system in Shenzhen’s subway was ‘interrupted’ by passengers’ Wi-Fi devices, causing an hour-long disruption of transportation services.”said Frank Tse, Security Researcher of Nexusguard.

DDoS attacks have become a highly popular means of protest in recent years. In January 2013, the hacker group Anonymous submitted a petition to the White House's "We the People" Web site, requesting President Obama to recognize DDoS attacks as a legal form of protest.

Frank Tse, Security Researcher of Nexusguard, shares insights on the trend of DDoS attacks towards Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System: “In 2012, financial institutes were the primary victims of DDoS attack, but at the same time we noticed that there were reports of attacks targeting SCADA by the year end of 2013. This trend of attacks towards governmental bodies has been getting more frequent.”

“News reports from various countries have highlighted an increase of DDoS attacks in 2012. Their anti-DDoS teams - such as Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense - were unfortunately unable to mitigate these attacks, which were too robust and complicated to defense.”

Below is a partial list of DDoS attacks on governmental bodies last year:

1.    Syrian Ministry of Defense Website Hacked
2.    Anonymous Attacks UK Home Office
3.    Israel has thwarted 44 million cyber attacks since start of Operation Pillar of Defense
4.    Anonymous Mexico targets defense department in support of Zapatistas

Frank also warned against underestimating the impact of DDoS attacks towards SCADA. “It is not a concern far removed from you and I. A real case of SCADA systems failure was in Shenzhen last year; the WIFI system in Shenzhen’s subway was ‘interrupted’ by passengers’ Wi-Fi devices, causing an hour-long disruption of transportation services.”

SCADA system attacks may also impact the bottom tier of Security Framework, namely Physical Security. Critical infrastructures for communications require dedicated, separated communication channels - such as dedicated lease lines and separated networks for inter-bank transactions or military communication - these facilities are secured based with nondisclosure to the public.

“SCADA system attacks - especially targeted ones - may remotely shutdown the power at DR sites, interrupting ‘secured’ physical communication links by signal jamming, taking over surveillance cameras or even aero-control signals,” shared Frank. “We predict that SCADA systems are likely to be the main target of DDoS attacks in 2013, and that the governmental bodies of different countries will suffer from more frequent and robust DDoS attacks.”

Frank also warned that DDoS attacks pose a real threat to the public, and that government agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), have confirmed an increase in the allocation of resources to SCADA attack protection. “When a DDoS attack towards public utilities such as water supply or electricity succeeds, the impact could be potentially devastating.” Frank stated.

For more details on our DDoS solutions, visit our website at http://www.nexusguard.com.

About Nexusguard
Nexusguard, incorporated in 2008, is a premium provider of end-to-end, in-the-cloud Internet Security Solutions. Nexusguard delivers solutions over the internet to ensure that our clients enjoy uninterrupted web-service delivery to their users, by protecting them against the ever-increasing and evolving multitude of internet threats, particularly Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, and other attacks directed at web application software.


Contact :
Stanley Liu
T : [852] 3526 0626
F : [852] 3526 0086

Ivy Wu
T : [886] 2659 8958
F : [886] 2659 8956

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