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UK organisations reel under ransomware and DDoS surge - didn't they see it coming?

John E Dunn | Feb. 5, 2016
For a tantalising moment it felt as if the ransomware attack on Lincolnshire Council might go down in history as one of the most serious cyberattacks ever recorded in the UK.

The end result of this is that while ransom and DDoS cyberattacks are bound to increase these are now becoming successful enough to cause real bother. On one end of the scale is Lincolnshire Council's week of downtime after a single PC was infected with ransomware exploiting an unpatched flaw. At the other is global bank HSBC temporarily brought to a halt by a DDoS. What these have nothing in common in terms of size, complexity or targeting but the end result was the same - expensive downtime.

Is there an answer to this or must UK organisations simply prepare for attacks that are now inevitable? On this front there is good and bad news. Positively, global policing is starting to improve with potentially major breakthroughs in January 2015 including the UK Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit (MPCCU)/Europol arrest of alleged members of the commercial DDoS world's most active group, DD4BC, in raids across the continent.

That's the bad news; the Europol operation involved police action in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Australia, France, Japan, Romania, the USA and Switzerland. Clearly, what the world has come to know as DD4BC has turned into a multi-national global business operation. The days of Russian cybercriminals holed up in remote Siberian towns appear to be over. This sort of cybercrime is now everywhere.


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