'Mega' DDoS attacks breaking records, Akamai says

The number, and the frequency of DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service) continues to grow, a new report by content delivery network (CDN) services provider Akamai Technologies says.

The company said its DDoS mitigation platform, the Akamai Intelligent Platform, mitigated 4,500 DDoS attacks during the first quarter of 2016, representing a 125 per cent jump, compared to the same period last year.

Almost all attacks were based on reflection attacks using stresser/booter-based tools. More than half of attacks (55 per cent) were against gaming companies, with 25 per cent targeting the software and tech industry.

The report also highlights a new record in the number of ‘mega’ attacks – attacks using some serious Gigabit power. There have been 19 attacks exceeding 100 Gigabits per second, two more than the previous record. The largest attack mitigated by Akamai peaked at 289 Gbps, the company said.

Repeat attacks are now the norm. Last quarter (Q4 2015), there have been an average of 24 attacks per targeted customer. This quarter, the number rose to 39. One of Akamai’s customers was being attacked three times a day, 283 times in total.

“We have continued to witness significant growth in the number and frequency of DDoS and web application attacks launched against online assets, and Q1 2016 was no exception,” said Stuart Scholly, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Security Business Unit, Akamai.

“Interestingly, nearly 60 percent of the DDoS attacks we mitigated used at least two attack vectors at once, making defence more difficult. Perhaps more concerning, this multi-vector attacks functionality was not only used by the most clever of attackers, it has become a standard capability in the DDoS-for-hire marketplace and accessible to even the least skilled actors.”

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