Mitigating the Risk of Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks


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DDoS Attacks
Mitigating Risks







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Mitigating the Risk 
Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks
April 2014
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On Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Ellie Mae's systems were compromised by a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack. Resources known to be affected were all Encompass services, including Encompass Docs Solution™, Electronic Document Management ("eFolder"), Encompass Product and Pricing Service™, Encompass Compliance Service™, and Ellie Mae Network Services.   
Ellie Mae itself proactively published a Press Release on April 1st, announcing that "recent outages [that] have made Ellie Mae's Encompass services unavailable to users." And further stating that it "has detected unusually high demand for services consistent with an external malicious attack characteristic of a distributed denial of service (DDoS)." 
As reported by Bloomberg at the time, the system failure "prevented some mortgages from closing." One client complained that "our business is at a standstill."   
For our own clients, we sought to know how Ellie Mae was challenging this attack and also we monitored its status page.
This article provides guidance in mitigating the many risks associated with a DDoS attack.   
I hope you enjoy the article!
President and Managing Director 

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Since 2012, there has been an increasing number of DDoS attacks launched against financial institutions by politically motivated groups, so says FFIEC. However, we also know that DDoS attacks have come from foreign country proxies, mafia-type criminals, and sundry other nefarious individuals and organizations hell bent on disrupting financial institutions. DDoS attacks serve as a diversionary tactic by criminals attempting to commit fraud using stolen customer or bank employee credentials to initiate fraudulent wire or automated clearinghouse transfers. 

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There are actions a financial institution's management would be wise to take to mitigate the risks associated with DDoS attacks, given the company's size, complexity and risk profile. Any plan to mitigate such risks should include at least these six elements. ...


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