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June 21, 2017updated 20 Jul 2022 10:59am

Global Skype Outage – as hacker group claims responsibility, was it a DDoS attack?

CyberTeam has claimed responsibility for the global Skype outage.

By Tom Ball

Microsoft has been hit by a global Skype outage that has reportedly been caused by a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. The outage has affected calls to mobiles and landlines, as well as messaging.

The problems began on Monday and persisted through to yesterday, with a hacker group dubbed CyberTeam having claimed responsibility for causing the widespread outage.

Skype tweeted at one point that the issue had been resolved, but the service continued to falter with loss of connectivity, and the inability to send messages. A further tweet was issued apologising for the ongoing inconvenience.

Problems continued to arise across the world in Europe, Asia, and the United States, while Europe has apparently been affected the most by the problems.

Microsoft has not yet released definitive details of the cause of the attack, perhaps indicating that a review of the situation is still being made. However, many have jumped to the conclusion that the outage was the work of hackers, with CyberTeam seemingly confirming the rumour via Twitter.

Stephanie Weagle, VP, Corero Network Security, said: “It’s clear that DDoS attacks continue to impact even the largest global organizations, including the recent confirmed attack against Skype. Continuing to rely on traditional IT security solutions, and/or human intervention to deal with the growing DDoS epidemic will continue to prove devastating to businesses. As recent events have confirmed once again, proactive, automated protection is required to keep the Internet-connected business available in the face of DDoS attacks.

READ MORE: Unsecure IoT makes DDoS attacks stronger, says Kaspersky

DDoS attacks gained notoriety on the back of major incidents such as the attack on Brian Krebs, and on DNS provider DYN. The attack on Krebs was much more powerful than anything seen previously, reaching peak traffic at close to 620 Gbps, doubling records at the time.

“The bottom line is that DDoS attacks can take virtually any company offline – a reality that any business must be prepared to defend against. And it isn’t just the giant attacks that organizations need to worry about. Small, sub-saturating attacks, which most IT and network security wouldn’t even recognize as a DDoS attack are more common than not. In fact, the majority of DDoS attacks are less than five minutes in duration and under 1 Gbps – these shorter attacks typically evade detection by most legacy and homegrown DDoS mitigation solutions,” said Weagle.

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