As reported by the BBC, cyber-attacks against anti-racism organisations shot up in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a leading provider of protection services says. Cloudflare, which blocks attacks designed to knock websites offline, says advocacy groups in general saw attacks increase 1,120-fold.
Mr Floyd’s death, in police custody, has sparked nationwide civil unrest in the US. Government and military websites also saw a notable increase in attacks.
DDoS attacks – short for Distributed Denial of Service – are a relatively simple cyber-attack tool, in which the attacker tries to flood a website or other online service with so many fake “users” that it cannot cope. The effect is that it gets knocked offline for people trying to access information or services.
DDoS attacks can be extremely frustrating for the web owners, and you tend to find less frequented sites do not have DDoS protection in place. However, after a particular topical story gains worldwide attention, there is a habitual influx of denial of service attacks by immature pranksters just for kicks. Such attacks can last a matter of minutes or go on for days depending on how big their egos are in terms of trying to get media attention.
Charities and NGOs often forget they will become a victim of their own success and be targeted due to the charitable work they offer, but once anyone raises their head above the parapet, they become a focus for the masses. Unfortunately, however benevolent their work is, pranksters will always follow and abuse the skills they have learnt nefariously.