Shortly after Michael Phelps added a 19th gold medal to his collection, hackers began to target him.

New World Hackers have since claimed responsibility for taking down the U.S. swimmer’s website, just after he took home the gold medal for the 4x100 meter relay in Rio de Janeiro.

New World is notoriously known for targeting celebrities and other high profile individuals. The group has claimed responsibility in the past for targeting individuals like Donald Trump, Adele, and the BBC.

So, what’s their motive you ask? Apparently, the group carries out these malicious attacks in the name of security research, stating that victims should ‘take this as a guide, how to secure a site, accounts and more.’

New World told Newsweek that they launched a DDoS attack against Phelps to bring to light the lax security measures his website has in place and that they have no intention of stealing or revealing information on Phelps.

“The attack on Michael Phelps is an example showing how celebrities’ websites lack security measures,” a member of New World told the Newsweek.

The spokesperson also claims that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are on the list of next potential targets. “The smartest celebs would be the Kardashian family and Kanye West They actually have good protection on the domains, only one problem. They left one fatal error that will eventually cost them.”

DDoS attacks have proven to be extremely difficult to defend against and with each year, the severity, frequency, size, and persistence of these attacks continue to increase. NNT suggests these 4 tips to best protect against a DDoS attack

  1. Monitoring is Key
  2. Be on the lookout for Botnets
  3. Keep an eye on performance metrics and scalability
  4. Have a security awareness program in place

The potential consequences associated with poor security go far beyond humiliation, embezzlement or identity theft, and the same stands for celebrities or other high profile individuals. May this be a lesson to those with network vulnerabilities- be ready, you could be next!


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