DDoS attacks are getting more sophisticated, HHS warns healthcare orgs

The Department of Health and Human Services' Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center issued a brief Feb. 13 advising healthcare organizations on how to protect their internet-connected devices and networks from Distributed Denial of Service attacks.

Eight things to know about DDoS attacks:

  1. Hackers are more inclined to use DDoS attacks as it is cost effective, and requires relatively low resources and technical skills. 

  2. HHS warned that these attacks are getting more sophisticated and complex while getting easier and cheaper to perpetrate.

  3. Hackers can use DDoS attacks at any stage of an attack.

  4. DDoS attacks increased by 67 percent year-on-year and 24 percent quarter-on-quarter, according to the HHS.

  5. Hackers will use web application attacks, such as DDoS attacks, to target an organization's most exposed infrastructure.

  6. To defend against these attacks, healthcare organizations should implement user data protocol, SYN, and transmission control protocol.

  7. Healthcare organizations should also work to identify services and devices that may be exposed to the public internet, vulnerabilities and how a user base connects to networks.

  8. 'Killnet,' a Russian-based hacking group recently deployed a DDoS attack on hospital and health system websites across the U.S.

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