Swedish newspaper sites were under a DDoS attack over the weekend. The attack took offline number of Swedish media outlets for several hours. The attack was capable of taking offline seven of the major newspapers in Sweden and so far no one has taken responsibility for the attack. The following sites were taken offline – Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen, Aftonbladet, Dagens Industri, Sydsvenskan and Helsingborgs Dagblad.
The attackers gave a warning on Twitter stating an attack will take place on websites that spread false propaganda. The propaganda being mentioned in the tweet is referring to content posted by Aftonbladet that published articles that doesn’t portray Russia in a positive way. It is also believed that the DDoS attack might be in direct response to a report by Swedish security service Sapo stating that Russian spying tactics utilize aggressive tactics that target policymakers and general public.
Authorities state that the attack originated from Russia and the reason for attack was due to growing tension between Sweden and Russia. Jeannette Gustafsdotter, who is head of the Swedish Media Publishers’ Association, stated that these types of attack are a “threat to democracy”. By taking away access, the attackers are looking for ways to suppress freedom of press and DDoS attacks have been used by attackers on both sides. In the past, DDoS attacks have been used to bring down websites to suppress violent messages and some groups have used DDoS attacks to bring down services that offer beneficial information.
According to Psychz Networks, which offers remote DDoS protection services, the amount of DDoS attacks have risen over time and today all large traffic sites are at risk of an attack. DDoS protection is like an insurance policy that is a must and companies need to become serious about online threats. Companies are avoiding DDoS protection services because DDoS attacks are not common or happen on a regular basis but when they do happen, they can end up costing millions in revenue from sales, advertisement etc. A DDoS protection services provides 24/7 monitoring and only allow clean traffic to visit the destination website by scrubbing bad traffic. As more users get online, website owners need to become serious about ensuring their website uptime for the end user.