A study reveals that the majority of DDoS attacks targeting gambling and various other websites originate from the United States.

Posted on: July 19, 2023, 08:16h. 

Last updated on: July 19, 2023, 08:16h.

Dedicated Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks cause widespread disruption, resulting in website outages and frantic efforts by IT departments to stop them. While there are various motivations behind launching a DDoS attack, a recent report reveals that many attacks targeting online gambling and other websites do not originate from China or Russia, but instead from the US.

A computer displays a simulated alert of a DDoS attack
A computer displays a simulated alert of a DDoS attack. Many attacks are originating from the US, not foreign sources. (Image: Getty Images)

Tech Business News has analyzed data from Cloudflare, a US-based global cybersecurity company, which shows a 15% surge in attacks during the first and second quarters of this year, following a 35% decline in the last half of 2022.

In the third quarter of last year, Cloudflare identified 7.5 trillion attack requests. However, by the first quarter of this year, this number had dropped to 4.7 trillion before surging again in the last quarter.

DDoS Attacks On the Rise

These DDoS attacks primarily target websites and API (Application Programming Interface) gateways. These gateways serve as the main access point for companies, such as iGaming operators, allowing users to navigate the platform.

The top targets for these attacks are cryptocurrency platforms. Cloudflare’s data indicates that six out of every 10,000 HTTP requests to crypto sites are part of an attack. An HTTP request is made when a user enters a website’s URL into their browser to visit the site.

Gaming and gambling sites follow crypto sites as common targets, with marketing and advertising sites collectively ranking third. Non-profits also face a 12% share of DDoS traffic.

Russian, North Korean, and Chinese hackers have frequently been associated with DDoS attacks, particularly those aimed at breaching crypto accounts. The US government has accused North Korean hackers of stealing over $3 billion in cryptocurrency, with DDoS attacks helping them exploit vulnerabilities.

Chinese hackers have frequently launched DDoS attacks on crypto targets. In more recent incidents, they have also targeted US government email accounts, including those belonging to State Department officials.

Various “hacktivist” groups, such as REvil, Killnet, and Anonymous Sudan, which operate in support of Russia, have led numerous DDoS attacks during the quarter. These attacks are primarily aimed at websites supporting “Western interests.”

However, according to Cloudflare’s research, none of these groups can be solely blamed for the increasing number of DDoS attacks. The primary source of HTTP DDoS attacks in terms of attack traffic volume is, in fact, the US. China ranks second, followed by Germany.

Attacks Become Regional

During the second quarter of this year, Israel witnessed a “significant increase” in targeted attacks in terms of total DDoS attack volume, earning it fourth place in the rankings.

The US takes first place in both being the source and target of most attacks, followed by Canada and Singapore in second and third, respectively.

Europe’s gaming and gambling ecosystem is the primary target within the gaming industry, while the majority of attacks on the marketing and advertising ecosystem occur in the US.

In terms of cryptocurrency, the Asia market is the primary target for attacks. Meanwhile, the “sporting goods” market in South America appears to be a popular target for DDoS attacks.

A DDoS attack involves overwhelming the target website with simultaneous requests from various IP addresses. In one notable attack during the quarter, an unspecified ISP in the US had to handle an attack volume of 1.4 terabits per second.

These attacks, which can be launched by almost anyone with minimal knowledge of the Internet, are not always financially motivated. Sometimes, they are simply intended to disrupt a website’s activity.

It is virtually impossible to completely mitigate these attacks. Websites can implement measures to reduce the risk, but this requires proactive efforts and investment in security.

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