It is not surprising to learn criminals have taken a liking to using DDoS attacks against popular service providers. In most cases, these attacks shut down a specific financial institution or company that caused quite a bit of controversy. Throughout the years, several notable DDoS attacks have occurred, all of which were successful to a certain degree. It is expected more of these attacks will take place throughout 2017 and beyond.
#4 Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement
Albeit most people would automatically assume the Western world is often targeted by DDoS attacks, that is not always the case. In June of 2014, the Hong Kong Democracy Movement used a massive DDoS attack against the Chinese government to send a clear message. Occupy Central, as this movement is called in Asia, successfully shut down a major political website in the process. Unfortunately, this attack did very little to address the concerns voiced by Occupy Central.
#3 Church of Scientology
Quite a few people think Scientology is perhaps one of the most evil creations to freely roam the planet right now. Despite having some prominent members – including Tom Cruise – a lot of people take offense to Scientology and what it represents. Anonymous, the world-renowned hacker collective, took exception to Scientology in 2008 and executed a DDoS attack on the Church’s website.
As a result of this attack, the web server was shut down momentarily. Although this attack was originally designed to be a protest against the Church of Scientology’s philosophies and practices, the “cult” used this incident to strengthen its position. In fact, one could argue this DDoS attack – well-orchestrated as it was – only made things worse for those who oppose Scientology in the first place.
#2 BBC Hack
On December 31 of 2015, the BBC website was successfully taken down by a group known as the New World Hacking. Their massive DDoS attack took down the BBC site and even affected Donald Trump’s homepage as well. The BBC iPlayer was crippled for at least three hours in the process, which caused quite a bit of outrage. At that time, this was considered to be the biggest DDoS attack, although that “record” didn’t stand long.
The whole world has heard about the 2016 DynDNS attack, which crippled nearly half of the internet. A lot of popular online services – including Netflix and Twitter – use DynDNS as a backbone to grant users access to their platforms. Due to this unprecedented DDoS attack executed by the Mirai botnet, none of these services were operational for nearly 24 hours. An attack of this magnitude has not been seen ever since, albeit that may only be a matter of time.
What is of particular concern about the DynDNS attack is how it showcases the centralization of our internet. With so many companies depending on one provider for DNS solutions, DynDNS unknowingly painted a huge target on their back. The Mirai botnet was successful in causing a lot of havoc, although a repeat of this attack should be impossible by now. Then again, with a growing number of IoT devices, large-scale DDoS attacks are only the beginning of what may await us.
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