In a concerning twist, hackers are intensifying their efforts, targeting environmental services amid the global shift towards green energy. The last quarter of 2023 witnessed a sharp increase in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, with the environmental services industry experiencing an alarming 618-fold surge in HTTP DDoS attacks compared to the previous year. This trend points to a disturbing development in the cyber threat landscape.
Unprecedented Surge: Environmental Services Hit Hard
Environmental Services websites found themselves at the epicenter of simultaneous attacks, rendering them unavailable for genuine visitors. Hackers utilized malware-infected computers to launch these attacks, constituting half of all HTTP traffic in the industry. The surge coincided with COP 28, a crucial event signaling a turning point in the fossil fuel era.
Shifting Targets: From Cryptocurrency to Environmental Services
Initially dominated by the cryptocurrency sector, the landscape of cyber threats witnessed a significant shift in the final quarter of 2023. Cloudflare, Inc., a leading connectivity cloud services company, reported that leading up to COP 28, there was a noticeable spike in HTTP attacks targeting Environmental Services websites. This unsettling pattern extended beyond the conference, indicating a broader and sustained cyber threat.
The retail sector and Packaging Industry Face Escalating Attacks
Surprisingly, the packaging and freight delivery industry secured the second spot in cyber attack targets, coinciding with the peak of online shopping during Black Friday and the winter holiday season. The retail sector, experiencing a surge in online festivals, witnessed a sharp 23% increase in attacks compared to the same quarter in the previous year.
Cybersecurity Defenses and Alarming Figures
Cloudflare’s automated defenses played a crucial role in mitigating over 5.2 million HTTP DDoS attacks, comprising a staggering 26 trillion requests. On average, this translates to 594 HTTP DDoS attacks and 3 billion mitigated requests every hour. Despite these astronomical figures, there was a notable decline of 20% in HTTP DDoS attack requests compared to 2022. This decline persisted into the fourth quarter of 2023, with a 7% year-on-year and an 18% quarter-on-quarter decrease.
Cryptocurrency Reigns in Attack Traffic
By volume of attack traffic, cryptocurrency remained the most targeted industry in the fourth quarter, with over 330 billion HTTP requests aimed at it. Notably, China and the US collectively accounted for just over a quarter of all global HTTP DDoS attack traffic.
In summary, the surge in cyber attacks on environmental services signifies a broader trend, emphasizing the need for heightened cybersecurity measures as industries face evolving threats in an increasingly digital world.
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Thanks & Regards Ashwini Kamble