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DDoS attacks have never been this popular

To some this will come as a surprise, to others not as much, but the Distributed Denial of Service, also known as DDoS – was the most popular type of cyber-attack in the past year.

According to a report by security firm Akamai, there has been a jump of 180 per cent in the number of DDoS attacks in 2015. The ending year also saw records broken in the size of the attacks, as well.

The DDoS is a type of attack where a large number of infected machines are ordered to try and access a particular website. With millions of computers trying to open the same site, it eventually crumbles under pressure, bringing the site down.

This can lead to losses in both reputation and finance – with damages going up into millions.

According to Akamai State of the Internet Security report, this year saw a number of attacks that were so large they could bring down a “tier 1 router” – the kind of router employed by our internet service providers.

A few weeks ago someone tried a large attack against one of the servers underpinning the internet. Luckily, its army of infected devices – its botnet – wasn’t big enough.

When looking at countries most responsible for attacks, two stand out – USA and China. USA accounted for almost 400 attacks in the last 24 hours, and China for 360.

The US also holds the all-time ranking for botnet attacks – at over 7 million, where China had 6.3 million.

Among the most notable DDoS attacks in 2015 were the TalkTalk incident, as well as a Dota 2 tournament worth $18 million.