With the 2016 United States Presidential election underway, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing cyber-attacks on presidential candidate websites. The Hill is reporting that both candidates’ websites were targeted by a series of denial-of-service attack (DDoS). DDoS attacks are designed to bring down the target website by overwhelming their servers with a barrage of requests to view. A server can only take so much traffic and eventually the content on the site ends up going dark for most users. These attacks on the U.S. presidential candidate websites occurred over a “16-hour stretch between Sunday and Monday.” These attacks on the candidates’ websites were detected and reported by Flashpoint.
Between 16:20:43 UTC on November 6, 2016 and 8:19 UTC on November 7, 2016, Flashpoint observed four 30-second HTTP Layer 7 attacks targeting the campaign websites of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. There were no observed or reported outages for either of the sites.
Flashpoint assesses that unsophisticated actors are using the Mirai Internet of Things (IoT) botnet to target the candidates’ websites; analysts do not believe that the attacks were related to nation-state interference in the November 8, 2016 presidential election.
Casting of votes is just getting started for the election and there will likely be more of these incidents throughout the day. This election campaigning has been one of the most interesting in recent history and supporters of both candidates are pretty passionate. Though it does seem that this particular attack may not be politically motivated but just a few people who are in it for the thrill. We’ll try and keep our security/tech ears to the ground for any more reports throughout the day on situations or incidents like this and report back.
What do you think of these DDoS attacks? Do you think we’ll see more of this through the day? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.