As we move toward the Thanksgiving holiday, we have the opportunity to take stock of the growing threat of massive DDoS attacks against businesses across the globe.
These attacks have become so commonplace that the FBI estimates that one in six U.S. businesses are affected by them, with the average attack taking place on Thanksgiving.
With DDoS, these attacks are often aimed at businesses’ networks, and they target the most critical infrastructure.
But what’s so frightening about these attacks is not just their impact, but the potential for the damage to be catastrophic.
For starters, DDoS is a multi-layered attack, targeting multiple organizations and networks simultaneously.
A DDoS attack is a coordinated attack, meaning that multiple users or nodes in a network are compromised, and then a group of attackers can flood the network with malicious traffic.
A recent study published in Cybersecurity Research found that attackers targeted an average of 60,000 computers in a day in an attack known as the “DDoS attack.”
These attackers also targeted financial institutions, governments, and private corporations.
The researchers concluded that attackers “can also target the Internet backbone as well as the Internet and the mobile network, or the Internet gateway, or any other infrastructure.”
But this attack can be much more insidious.
While DDoS has historically targeted individual networks, it is now targeting entire networks.
The attacks are designed to overload a network, and it is not clear whether the networks were fully operational or not.
In the case of financial institutions and government agencies, the attackers targeted the financial network, as well.
According to the Cybersecurity research, financial institutions account for 80% of all attacks in 2016.
The financial system was hit by more than $200 billion in DDoS in 2016 alone.
While financial institutions may be targeted, it does not mean they are not affected by the attacks.
According in 2016, the Financial Services Forum estimated that “the U.K.’s financial sector alone accounts for $5.4 trillion in losses.”
According to a report released by the Government Accountability Office, the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia estimates that DDoS damages the economies of over 5 million people worldwide.
For example, in 2015, the report found that the total U.R.I.D. (Unified Resource Identification Dataset) loss of 3.4 billion was equivalent to the GDP of 10 countries.
In 2015, China’s financial system accounted for nearly 4% of the total loss of $13.6 billion.
According the report, the Global Financial Cyber Attack Risk Matrix found that a global cyber-attack is “likely to have a devastating impact on financial systems worldwide.”
A number of organizations have announced that they are facing a DDoS problem.
For instance, on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that a number of banks were experiencing a problem with their DDoS protection system, and that they have been forced to shut down their systems for the duration of the holidays.
In addition, according to the Federal Trade Commission, there have been reports of banks, insurance companies, and credit unions having their systems shut down due to the threat of DDoS.
While these reports are not yet verified, it’s worth mentioning that these attacks can take place anywhere on the Internet.
As we look to the Thanksgiving holidays, we should also be aware of the potential dangers posed by these attacks.
This article first appeared on New York magazine.