Hackers are motivated by their political and ideological differences to large internet companies, according to the findings of a recently conducted survey.The annual survey conducted by Arbor Networks sampled 114 tier 1 internet infrastructure firms, hosting companies and large enterprises. It recognised more hackers have evolved into cyber-terrorists, advocating differing politics or ideologies in the virtual world of the internet.
Traditionally hackers orchestrated DDoS attacks to extort or influence businesses. But nowadays these motivations scored the lowest at 18 and 19 per cent respectively.
Rather, hackers are motivated by differing political and ideological stances, scoring the highest at 35 per cent. The second most popular motivation stems from the primitive desire to vandalise, at 31 per cent.
The shift in motivation is a significant development as political and ideological attackers are more likely to execute a series of DDoS attacks, as opposed to extortionists who would cease after they achieved a single goal.
“It is not just the things [a company does] but the fact they are in a supply chain or a certain country,” said Darren Anstee, Arbor’s EMEA solutions architect.
Security site CSO believes the rate and size of attacks has also increased as hackers become more efficient, being able to overwhelm defences without the need to grow larger.
An example of this took place when famed hacking group Anonymous managed to take down several government websites within minutes following the closure of Megaupload, a website that allegedly infringed on movie and music copyright laws.
“The government takes down Megaupload? 15 minutes later Anonymous takes down government and record label sites,” Anonymous posted in their Twitter feed.
Anonymous are a prime example of a hacking group who advocate certain ideologies, particularly the freedom to share information, and have taken credit for various attacks.
Additionally, the survey revealed a rise in the size of DDoS attacks between 2010 and 2011, with 13 per cent of sampled businesses reporting attacks above 10 Gbps.
90 per cent claimed to have experienced one DDoS attack per month, up 15 per cent from the year before it. Worse yet, almost half (44%) of businesses experience ten or more attacks every month, also up from 35 per cent.
The Chief Technology officer of DDoS defence vendor Prolexic compared the progression of hackers to an update in gun arsenal. He said “think of it this way: in the past, attackers had a rifle. In 2012, they have a machine gun with a laser site.”