By Aryaman Bhatia Science and Tech editor, The Pawprint
Several of Comms Council UK’s members have been attacked by distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults in recent weeks, according to the industry organization. “An overarching threat to the entire business has been posed,” a spokeswoman stated. Ofcom said that it was aware of the incident.
DDoS attacks operate by flooding a website or online service with internet traffic in an attempt to knock it down or make it unavailable in some other way. Previously, they often brought websites offline and were occasionally used to make political comments. However, the most recent round of assaults has targeted VoIP providers in an apparent attempt to blackmail them.
VoIP companies deliver internet-based calls to a variety of consumers, including businesses and public services such as the police and the NHS.
The DDoS assaults against British VoIP providers, according to Comms Council UK, happened over the last four weeks and “appear to be part of a coordinated extortion-focused worldwide effort by professional cyber-criminals.”
The organization stated that it was in contact with the UK government, Ofcom, and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) about the issue. A Comms Council UK official told the BBC that he couldn’t say how many businesses were hit, but that the scope of the attack was “unprecedented.”
According to Alan Woodward, a cyber-security specialist at the University of Surrey, technology to protect businesses and websites against DDoS assaults has evolved substantially in recent years.
“DDoS as an attack method is a bit of a surprise,” he said. “Ransomware is now more commonly used by criminals to extort money.” The NCSC stated that it was aware of the DDoS assaults and was collaborating with its partners to assist affected businesses.