Exponential was the increase seen in “DDoS” cyberattacks (e.n. attacks aimed at flooding a network until the server “crashes”) against educational resources last spring.
According to Kaspersky’s estimates, from January to June 2020, the number of “DDoS” attacks affecting educational online resources increased by at least 350% compared to the corresponding month of 2019.
In denial-of-service attacks (“DoS”), digital criminals try to flood a network server with requests for services so that the server “crashes”; denying users access.
While “DoS” attacks include only one attack computer, what usually happens are distributed denial-of-service attacks (“DDoS”). These include a “botnet”; a series of “infected” computers that can run tasks at the same time.
“DDoS” attacks are particularly problematic because they can last from two days to a few weeks, causing disruption to organisations’ operations and -in the case of educational resources- prohibiting students and staff from accessing critical material.
With more people than ever on the internet -due to the pandemic- this spring and summer, networks became the preferred target of an attack.
In fact, globally, the total number of “DDoS” attacks increased by 80% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019.
In addition, attacks on educational resources accounted for much of this growth; between January and June 2020, the number of “DDoS” attacks affecting educational resources increased by at least 350% compared to the corresponding month of 2019.
The “DDoS” attacks were not the only digital threats faced by teachers and students last spring.
From January to June 2020, 168,550 unique Kaspersky product users faced an increasing number of various threats distributed under the guise of popular online learning platforms / video conferencing apps (Moodle, Zoom, edX, Coursera, Google Meet, Google Classroom, Blackboard).
Teachers also faced a growing number of “phishing” pages exploiting these same platforms, also putting them at risk of “downloading” various threats.