Kaspersky: Learning environments are more often the target of DDOS attacks

The number of DDoS attacks on learning environments has increased by more than 350 percent this spring. Kaspersky says this based on its own research. The increase was strongest in January, with 550 percent more DDoS attacks than in January 2019.

The increase was smallest in March and May, according to Kaspersky’s Digital Education study. In March the increase was 350 percent, in May 357 percent. In January, February, April and June the increase was 450 percent or higher. According to Kaspersky, the number of DDoS attacks on learning environments was higher this year, because these online learning environments are used more often this year. Due to the coronavirus, many students worldwide have been receiving more remote teaching since this year, using such environments.

January February March April May June
550 percent 500 percent 350 percent 480 percent 357 percent 450 percent

The percentage annual growth in the number of DDoS attacks on educational institutions in 2020

Kaspersky does not provide absolute figures about the DDOS attacks in the document. The company does indicate that the share of DDOS attacks targeting learning environments has increased compared to the total number of DDOS attacks. In January 2019, for example, 6.9 percent of all DDOS attacks were aimed at learning environments. In January 2020 this share was 35.5 percent. Only in March was the share of DDOS attacks on learning environments lower in 2019 than in 2020.

According to Kaspersky, criminals are also increasingly abusing learning tools and video conferencing services. From January to June 2020, 168,550 unique users were affected threats distributed under the guise of one of these programs. This is 20,455 percent more than in the first six months of 2019. The most used ‘bait program’ was Zoom, 99.5 percent of all users who had to deal with a threat had Zoom in the file name. These include, for example, installers or set-up files that pretend to install Zoom on a computer when they are actually malware, riskware or adware.

The security company says that online learning is not a short-term solution, but that it will become a permanent thing in our society. Partly because the corona crisis is not over yet, but also because more universities would like to take more online classes. Cyber ​​security must therefore be high on the agenda of educational institutions, according to Kaspersky.