Iran has seemingly come under cyber-attack. Indeed, so powerful was the impact of this alleged attack that the internet was disrupted across the country. The NetBlocks internet observatory, which maps internet freedom in real-time, confirmed that there was extensive Iranian telecommunications network disruption on the morning of February 8. In a NetBlocks tweet, the national internet connectivity drop to 75% was said to be due to Iranian authorities activating the “Digital Fortress” cyber-defense mechanism, also known as DZHAFA.
Powerful #CyberAttack Takes Down 25% Of Iranian Internet: https://t.co/eoXRoEo2Xh
Source: Forbes #CyberSecurity #Ciso #InfoSec #InformationSecurity #DataPrivacy #CyberCrime pic.twitter.com/fIKY4Sq05l
— teiss (@TEISS) February 10, 2020
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are quite accessible and cheap for cybercriminals to pull off. Even if the target was Iran\’s infrastructure, an attack of this scale isn\’t necessarily state-sponsored. It could be anyone with access to a large botnet. Botnets are typically made up of internet-connected devices that are infected with botnet malware. The attacker uses the combined resources of all these devices to simultaneously hit the target with junk requests. A DDoS attack is used to temporarily disrupt the target\’s network and overload its servers, but it doesn\’t necessarily mean anyone was hacking into Iran\’s systems or stealing data. The attacks can last minutes or days, depending on how many resources the attacker wants to use.