Last week the internet witnessed what could probably be the largest attack till date. Many reputed online services across the world were hit by a DDOS attack, leaving them inaccessible for hours. As cyber threats continue to rise, the banking institutions in London are preparing themselves for the worst case scenario.
The DDoS attack, to which companies like Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Reddit and more fell victim was found to be launched using a special code. The code executed by unknown hackers is said to have harnessed the power of various internet connected devices to direct the attack through Dyn – an online directory services provider.
Even though there are no reports of any ransom demands made by the attackers yet, the banking sector is not taking chances. According to a news report, many leading UK banks have started setting up Bitcoin contingency funds to ensure undisrupted service to their customers. These funds will be used to meet the ransom demands by attackers if any were to arise in the near future.
The banks’ move to keep Bitcoin reserves for ransom payouts is not a new thing as few of them have already started that practice since the rise of ransomware attacks. However, the trend has picked up again. Victims of cyber-attacks are usually advised not to pay ransom as it will encourage the hackers to launch repeated attacks and also because there is no guarantee of them relenting once the ransom is paid. However, due to the time sensitive nature of the business, banking and financial institutions don’t want to take chances.
“The police will concede that they don’t have the resources available to deal with this because of the significant growth in the number of attacks… From a purely pragmatic perspective, financial institutions are now exploring the need to maintain stocks of bitcoin in the unfortunate event that they themselves become the target of a high-intensity attack, when law enforcement perhaps might not be able to assist them at the speed with which they need to put themselves back in business,”
The DDoS attacks have improved a lot in the recent months. Currently, attackers can easily launch an attack of over 600 GB/sec at their targets. In the near future, it is expected to increase to at least 1 TB/sec, in which case most of the current day protections against such attacks will be rendered useless.
Ref: Guardian | Image: NewsBTC