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Numbers of DDoS attacks are up again, particularly 'mega' assaults

A new report from Akamai has pointed out the growing dangers and increasing numbers of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks.

The Q2 2015 State of the Internet report found that the number of huge scale 'mega' DDoS attacks continued to increase, with 12 attacks which exceeded 100Gbps in malicious traffic taking place in this quarter.

The biggest attack seen tipped over the 240Gbps mark and lasted for 13 hours plus in total (though the peak bandwidth of these mega-assaults is generally confined to a one or two hour window – needless to say, though, the vast majority of companies can't withstand anything like this volume).

Akamai also observed a trend towards less powerful attacks which are longer in duration over the course of Q2. The average attack duration was 20.6 hours, up 9 per cent year-on-year.

As for the total DDoS activity in the quarter, that was up 7 per cent on the previous quarter setting a new record – and compared to Q2 of 2014, activity was more than doubled (up 132 per cent), which is a worrying increase.

As for the most targeted industry over the past year – that's online gaming, which has been the victim of around 35 per cent of all DDoS attacks.

John Summers, vice president, Cloud Security Business Unit, Akamai, commented: “The threat posed by distributed denial of service (DDoS) and web application attacks continues to grow each quarter. Malicious actors are continually changing the game by switching tactics, seeking out new vulnerabilities and even bringing back old techniques that were considered outdated.

“By analysing the attacks observed over our networks, we're able to identify emerging threats and trends and provide the public with the information to harden their networks, websites and application and improve their cloud security profiles.”

Image source: Shutterstock/alexskopje