In 2012, cyberattacks have led to 6% of failures affecting both landline and mobile telephone networks in the European Union, according to a report recently published by the European Agency for Network and Information Security Information (ENISA).
This ENISA figure is even more striking, that network disruptions due to cyberattacks have affected more people than those related to hardware failures.
The ENISA annual report shows that hardware failures accounted for 38% of all incidents have affected more than 1.4 million users on average. In contrast, incidents due to cyberattacks have impacted on average 1.8 million users and are mostly due to disrupted Internet access. Cyberattacks come second in terms of responsibility for service outages, and in particular non mobile Internet access, with 20% of all incidents, against 13% for mobile Internet services.
The report analyzed the data of 79 incidents that took place in 18 European Union member states in 2012 and which led to serious Internet failures and landline or mobile phones services disruption. Of all EU countries, “9 countries reported no incident in 2012 and 1 country has not yet established reporting capabilities,” said the ENISA.
Among the incidents, the failure of the system is responsible for 76% of the failures. Hardware failure is a major cause, with 38% of incidents that resulted in service disruptions. Other recorded incidents were caused by software problems (24%), system overloads (13%) and power cuts (11%).
The ENISA considers an incident caused by a cyberattack to be: “a series of attacks leading to the denial of service of the targeted ISP domain name provider.” In fact, it is up to 2.5 million mobile Internet users who were affected for 1 to 2 hours. IP addresses referred were stalked and blocked, load balancing units were restarted and traffic could then be resumed. Secondly, additional DNS servers were installed, configuration changes were made on the firewall and the operator has allocated more hardware to his service to resist further attacks.
The landline and mobile networks have been most affected by the outages, with 50% of all reported incidents affecting the mobile Internet services and mobile wireless networks.
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