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Italian social service website limping to normalcy after cyber-attack

By Chandu Gopalakrishnan for SC Media
Friday, April 3, 2020

The online service of the Italian department of social security and welfare (INPS) is back in operation after a cyber-attack forced the website to go offline on 1 April. The attack stalled the processing of applications for coronavirus benefits.

Immuniweb founder and CEO Ilia Kolochenko agrees that though it seems like a DDoS attack, the information available is too little to make any conclusions.

“The website was already tremendously overloaded with legitimate users desperately seeking help among this unprecedentedly disastrous crisis. Hence, even a tiny botnet is now apt to substantially disrupt the website’s availability and performance.”

The worst possible prediction now is the hand of a professional cyber-gang behind this attack, as they will likely exploit some weaknesses and architectural flaws of the web application to boost the amplitude of the DDoS, eventually expecting to get a ransom for stopping their activities, noted Kolochenko.

“The victims are now between Scylla and Charybdis, as paying the ransom will be a signal to many other gangs about this low-hanging fruit, while refusing will prevent the most vulnerable people in need from getting timely help that is so necessary in these uncertain times,” he said. Read Full Article

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