DDoS attacks rise dramatically in first half of 2013

Distributed denial of service [DDoS] attacks have risen dramatically in the first six months of 2013 with larger scale attacks becoming more frequent and likely to rise further as the months go on.

Data provided by network security analysts at Arbor Networks show that attacks have increased in size, speed and complexity since the start of the year, as well as becoming a highly visible method to cause disruption on a global basis.

"The resiliency of this attack vector is incredible, and with all of the tools available today that enable anyone to launch or participate in attacks, we don't see a slow down at all," explained Darren Anstee, Solutions Architect at Arbor Networks.

DDoS attacks, which have been around for some time, slow or crash servers by overloading them with traffic and are increasingly utilised by an underground economy aiming to cause as much disruption as possible.

The data shows that the average bits per second (BPS) attack size rose 43 per cent for the six months to the end of June, with 46.5 per cent of attacks now over 1Gbps – up 13.5 per cent from 2012.

From there upwards it gets even worse, with the proportion of attacks in the 2 - 10Gbps range now 29.8 per cent – more than doubling from 14.78 per cent.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg as the number of attacks over 10Gbps increased 41.6 per cent compared with the final six months of 2012.

"The increasing volume of highly visible attacks, including a mix of politically motivated attacks, state-sponsored electronic warfare, social activism, organized crime, and good old fashioned pointless mischief and mayhem is being driven by the easy availability of bots/botnets for hire and easily distributed crowd-sourced attack tools," added Jeff Wilson, principal network security analyst with Infonetics Research.

DDoS attacks have been all over the news this year with the alleged ‘biggest ever’ cyber attack slowing down the Internet worldwide when it struck in March, and a reported 1 in 5 companies in the UK have already fallen victim to a DDoS attack.