Segment Spotlight: Obama Declares War on DoS Attacks

Author: Rosa Lear, Director of Marketing at Edgewater

Edgewater Networks

It seems like every week there is headline mentioning a business or government that just became the victim of a cyberattack. We aren’t the only ones taking notice either. The U.S. Government has been responding to the rising threat of DoS and other cyberattacks with new legislations and task forces.

The Obama Administration has issued a new executive order that will allow government agencies to respond to cyber-threats in the same way they would any other act of war or crisis. According to Obama’s statement:

“This Executive Order authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on individuals or entities that engage in malicious cyber-enabled activities that create a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States.”

It should come as no shock to anyone in the IT security industry that the government is arming themselves to better combat the rise of cyber-theft and attacks. Recent attacks, to both private companies and public agencies, have demonstrated the truly damaging potential of these attacks. So how did we get to this point?

Obamacare Hacked in DoS Attack

Late last year, the government’s online health insurance marketplace, HealthCare.gov, was the victim of a denial of service attack. Malware was installed on HealthCare.gov on July 8th, 2014 and wasn’t discovered by administrators until August 25th. The attack was made possible by several security weaknesses including a test server with a factory default password that wasn’t supposed to be connected to the internet. Although the performance of the site was not affected in the attack, it still presented a major concern.

French Media Faces DoS Attack

French media and websites have been under attack the past few months from DoS and other malicious cyberattacks believed to be perpetrated by Isis. Earlier this month several French news channels were taken off the air by coordinated cyberattacks. Following the Charlie Hebdo shooting earlier this year, 19,000 French websites were targeted in a major DoS attack. Protecting your communications and security infrastructure from attack is vital to keeping your network secure and your service uninterrupted. With a DoS attack like this, having the proper monitoring and border controllers available at the edge can help identify and block potential attacks before they reach such a crippling size.

Hackers Breach the White House

On April 7th, CNN reported that a previous cyberattack of the U.S. State Department has led to the breach of sensitive White House information. The breach, which the government is attributing to Russian hackers, resulted in the breach of President Obama’s schedule. While not classified, the information is not publicly available. It was originally thought that the attack on the White House’s unclassified EOP network last year did not result in any loss of information or infrastructure. This new information shows that the attack may not have been as harmless as first believed.

With the recent DoS attacks around the globe raising tremendous concern, it’s more important than ever that organizations of all sizes arm themselves against the increased activity. With the new executive order, the U.S. government has given itself another tool to use in the fight against cyber-threats. For private companies, installing better monitoring and controllers on the edge of your networks you can help prevent DoS attacks, performance degradations and vulnerabilities across the company.

How are you preparing for the increased risks of DoS attacks and other cyber-threats? Are your voice/video communications solutions experiencing quality shocks as a results of the increased activity? Let us know in the comments below!

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