Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hackers targeting Indian e commerce sites for ransom

BANGALORE: India's fledgling e-commerce industry has become the target of large scale Internet attacks, which are constantly trying to bring down these websites.

According to a recent report by Akamai, e-commerce industry in India has become the second largest target for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks by hackers after enterprises.

India saw a 2.6% increase in attack traffic in first quarter, placing it at seventh position among countries with attack traffic, according to the Akamai State of the Internet Report."We have observed a huge spike in attacks against ecommerce companies in India. The purpose of many of these attacks is to extort money from e-commerce companies as a ransom to stop the attacks," said Sidharth Pisharoti, country sales head, Akamai.

It is still not immediately clear whether any e-commerce company in India has so far paid any extortion money to attackers. Online fashion retailer Jabong acknowledged the attacks while saying it did not have any impact on business.

"The identified sources of attacks have been both foreign and Indian servers. Our teams have always been receptive to mitigate any such spells," said Praveen Sinha, co founder and MD Jabong.com.

Flipkart declined to comment on the attacks "Trends we are seeing targeting Indian e-commerce include NTP Reflection DDoS attacks ranging from 20 - 60 Gbps for duration of 45 to 60 Mins," said Samuel Sathyajith, country manager India & SAARC at Arbor Networks.

A reflection DDoS attack is when forged requests are sent to a very large number of Internet connected devices that reply to the requests that use IP address spoofing, where the 'source' address is set to the IP address of the actual target of the attack, where all replies are sent. Attack tools are readily available, making these attacks easy to execute.

This equates to a significant risk for any potential target. The State of the Internet Report also highlighted that India's average Internet connection speed was at 1.7 Mbps in Q1 FY14.

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