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August 19, 2015

DDoS attacks double in Q2 as hackers switch tactics

DDoS attack traffic increased 132% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2014.

By CBR Staff Writer

The number of DDoS attacks more than doubled during the second quarter compared to last year, with one attack clocking more than 240Gbps and lasting for more than 13 hours.

The quarter recorded one of the highest packet rate attacks ever recorded across the Prolexic Routed network, which measured at 214 Mpps. Attacks of such ferocity can take down Tier 1 routers used by Internet service providers (ISPs).

DDoS attackers focused on less powerful attacks during the quarter but they lasted for longer.

A study by Akamai found that about 12 attacks were more than 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps) and five attacks were more than 50 Million packets per second (Mpps).

DDoS attack traffic increased 132% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2014, and increasing 7% over first quarter.

There was a slight increase in average peak attack bandwidth and volume during the quarter but it was significantly lower than the peak averages observed in Q2 2014.

Akamai Cloud Security Business Unit vice president John Summers said: "The threat posed by distributed denial of service (DDoS) and web application attacks continues to grow each quarter.

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"Malicious actors are continually changing the game by switching tactics, seeking out new vulnerabilities and even bringing back old techniques that were considered outdated.

"For example, for this report, we not only added two web application attack vectors to our analysis, we also examined the perceived threat posed by the onion router (Tor) traffic and even uncovered some new vulnerabilities in third-party WordPress plugins which are being published as CVEs," he said.

During the second quarter, SYN and Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) were the most common DDoS attack methods with each accounting for approximately 16% DDoS traffic.

Home based unsecured devices have become an attractive target for attackers through the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) Protocol to use as SSDP reflectors.

Most targeted sector was online gaming during the quarter being targeted in 35% of the attacks while China was one of the top three source countries for DDoS traffic.

WordPress was most favoured platform for attackers to spread malware and launch DDoS attack, given the several vulnerabilities in the blogging platform.

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