Lately we have seen a significant increase in our web sites being attacked through the use of brute force, especially originating from Russia and the Ukraine.
A brute force attack is when an attacker tries many times to guess username password combinations by repeatedly sending login attempts.
A distributed brute force attack is when an attacker uses a large number of machines spread around the internet to do this in order to attempt to circumvent the blocking mechanisms we have in place.
Most of the attackers are amateurs in the sense they attempt to vandalise web sites purely for pleasure, as evidenced by their repeated use of common usernames such as ‘admin’ and ‘administrator’ which are obviously anticipated.
Any web administrator worth their salt would never leave such obvious usernames and such amateurs are simply a nuisance to professionally protected sites.
It’s like someone repeatedly kicking a ball against your house – irritating but not damaging or illegal!
“Organised crime has been quick to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Internet, particularly the growth in ecommerce and online banking.”
The National Crime Agency
However, before the Internet the majority of us weren’t directly affected by organised crime. Now, with the Internet playing such an increasing role in everyday life we experience criminal activity on a daily basis.
Before the Internet, a thief would have to physically gain access by breaking a window or jemmying a door and risk detection and capture in the process.
Now, thieves can anonymously and remotely attempt to break-in through internet connections, making their actions appear impersonal and victim-less to them and therefore far easier to commit.
Yet, when unfortunately successful, the effects of internet crime are never victim-less and often remain just as damaging.>