The latest Kaspersky report says that number of total DDoS attacks increased by 80% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same time last year. Attacks on educational resources accounted for a large portion of this growth every month from January to June 2020.The unique number of attacks were 168550, where the threats distributed under the guise of popular online learning platforms / videos conferencing applications
From January to June 2020, 168,550 unique Kaspersky users encountered an increased by 350% on the number of various threats distributed under the guise of popular online learning platforms/video conferencing applications.
As per a Kaspersky report, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against educational resources grew exponentially this spring when compared to the previous year.
Cybercriminals attempted to overwhelm a network server with requests for services so that the server crashes, denying users access. DDoS attacks involve a botnet or a series of infected computers that can carry out tasks simultaneously. These attacks are particularly problematic because they can last anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks, causing disruptions to organisations’ operations, which in this case involves denying students and staff access to critical materials.
While there was a 550% increase in DDoS attacks on educational resources in January 2020 compared to January 2019, in February this percentage decreased to 500%. In March this ration decreased further to 350% but in April it increased to 480%. The months of May and June witnessed a similar fluctuation with the former witnessing 357.14% more attacks compared to May 2019 and the latter witnessing 450% more attacks compared to June 2019.
Notably, the report says that the DDoS attacks weren’t the only cyber threats faced by educators and students this past spring.
Educators also encountered an increasing number of phishing pages and emails exploiting these same platforms, also putting them at risk of downloading various threats.
“Remote learning became a necessity for billions of students this past spring, and many educational institutions were forced to make the transition with little or no preparation.
The ensuing increase in the popularity of online educational resources coupled with this lack of preparedness made the educational sector an ideal target for cyber attacks.
As many schools and universities plan to conduct classes online, during this pandemic, at least part of the time — it’s critical these organizations take steps to secure their digital learning environments,” Alexander Gutnikov, security expert at Kaspersky said in a statement.
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