VoIP DDoS Attack on UK ISPs
Voipfone has been experiencing ongoing Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks periodically since last month and is currently experiencing another one.
What is a DDoS attack?
A DDoS attack works by intentionally overloading a server or an end-user with a mass of data requests from multiple devices. These devices are often a part of large botnets created using previously malware infected machines. This overload then causes the target to crash altogether or become extremely slow or unresponsive until the traffic is stopped.
Are DDoS Attacks common?
DDoS attacks are actually quite prevalent. However, most are quite easily mitigated or just not significant enough to cause a major disruption. According to Microsoft’s Azure DDoS Protection the average number of mitigated attacks increased by 25% in the first half of 2021, with UK being one of the top 5 attack destinations.
That being said, in some cases well coordinated DDoS attacks by organised criminals may occur. Voipfone services have been significantly disrupted with many customers left without functioning phones and unable to carry out business. The latest Voipfone status update states they are continuing to work on a fix.
The ongoing attack on Voipfone and other VoIP providers who suffered similar attacks over the past 4 weeks appears to be part of an organised extortion campaign. ISPreview reached out to The Comms Council UK and received the following response from Eli Katz, Chair of Comms Council UK:
“Several Comms Council UK members and international IP-based communications service providers have been subjected to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks over the past four weeks which appear to be part of a coordinated extortion-focused international campaign by professional cyber criminals.
We are liaising closely with the UK Government, National Cyber Security Centre, Ofcom & international agencies to share information and details about the nature of the attacks in the expectation of halting this criminal activity as quickly as possible.
As our members supply telecoms services to critical infrastructure organisations including the Police, NHS and other public services, attacks on our members are attacks on the foundations of UK infrastructure.
We are confident that, with a joined-up Government-led initiative, this damaging criminal activity can be halted.”
Is Globe2 affected?
Currently our services are not being affected by any major disruptions.
It is worth noting that while DDoS attacks are very frequent, you do not need to worry about them most of the time. Smaller to Medium businesses are unlikely to be targeted by advanced DDoS attacks and most larger providers have the resources to mitigate them majority of the time. The National Cyber Security Centre website offers guidance aimed to help businesses understand what are DDoS attacks and how to mitigate them.
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