Cyber attacks targeting Turkey are far more numerous than the global average, according to data provided by American cyber security company Arbor Networks.
While in the second quarter of 2014 the global frequency of cyber attacks dropped by 68 percent, in the same period attacks directed at Turkey recorded an increase of 6 percent. The countries from which Turkey received the most attacks in the second quarter were Russia, the US and Switzerland.
Eric Michonnet, European director of Arbor Networks, which provides network security services to 90 percent of the world’s service providers, noted that Turkey’s average attack frequency was much higher than the global average. Explaining that cyber attacks are generally organized against financial institutions and Internet sales sites, Michonnet said the aim of the attacks is to inflict economic harm on the institution against which the attacks are organized.
Stating that Arbor Networks’ goal is to protect Internet service providers’ security, Michonnet said: “With the special systems we’ve placed in service providers, we’re preventing attacks on Turkey from several countries of the world before another attack affects Turkey.”
Michonnet explained that a cyber attack uses thousands of computers to enter a target website, congest it and block access to the site. He also noted that in the first half of 2014 the average size of a cyber attack was 3.39 gigabytes and the largest-capacity cyber attack had a base of 124 gigabytes.
Arbor Turkey Director Serhat Atlı commented that in recent years cyber attacks have particularly targeted Internet sales sites. Explaining that thousands of Internet users shop on these sites every day and that these attacks cause great economic damage, Atlı noted that some of these Internet sites have taken their own measures to prevent these attacks. He also stated that companies can arrange for cyber attacks to be carried out against their rivals.
In the first half of the year, the largest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) type of attacks were perpetrated from Malaysia, Switzerland and Russia. In the second half of the year, the largest attack came from Russia, followed by the US and Switzerland.
A DDoS attack is used to harvest bank details, the aim being to cause surprise and to camouflage the real attack, as data theft can be carried out after the system has been penetrated. One way of performing a DDoS attack is through a botnet, which can contain over 100,000 bots. Bots are chosen because they are practically impossible to follow and locate, are cheap and can be easily removed from the system following the attack.