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  • KillNet tripled the number of DDoS attacks in 3 months

    According to a report by cybersecurity researchers from Microsoft, the KillNet group has increased the number of its DDoS attacks on healthcare organizations since November 2022.

    In recent months, the group has been focusing on health organizations' websites, launching a campaign in February targeting hospitals in more than 25 US states. According to the CISA agency, less than 50% of all attacks were successful.

    Members of the Microsoft Azure Network Security Team Amir Dahan and Syed Pasha published an analysis of DDoS attacks on healthcare organizations. They tracked all attacks from November 18, 2022 to February 17, 2023, seeing an increase in the number of attacks from 10-20 attacks per day in November to 40-60 attacks daily in February.

    Types of healthcare organizations affected:

    • pharmaceuticals and life sciences (31% of all attacks);
    • hospitals (26%);
    • health insurance (16%);
    • medical services (16%);
    • public health (8%);
    • biotechnology (3%).

    Killnet has typically used 2 methods of attack:

    1. Creating many different connections and maintaining them for as long as possible to disable the target site;
    2. Establishing as many new connections as possible in a short period of time to deplete the target's resources.

    The researchers said that KillNet and related cybercriminals use DDoS attacks as the most common tactic. Using DDoS scripts, botnets, and fake attack sources, KillNet can easily disrupt the presence of websites and applications on the Internet.

    Cloudflare's Omer Yoachimik said their research into the Killnet DDoS campaign in the healthcare industry indicates that the attacks were crowdsourced, meaning Killnet operators are reaching out to other groups and individuals who either use multiple botnets or use different attack methods.

    In addition, CISA has made DDoS incidents a top priority as CISA strives to protect critical infrastructure. The CISA representative added that throughout 2022, the agency helped organizations prevent DDoS attacks, especially attacks launched by Killnet.

    CISA has also worked with several IT companies to provide free resources to underfunded organizations that can help them mitigate the impact of DDoS attacks.

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