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DDoS attacks are more potent than ever

(Image credit: Image Credit: Profit_Image / Shutterstock)

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are growing in both frequency and destructive power, new data suggests.

According to a report from application and network performance management company Netscout, there were roughly 5.4 million DDoS attacks in the first half of 2021.

That represents an 11 percent increase compared to the same period last year, the company said, adding that 2021 is on track to becoming another record-breaking year.

During the first half of the year, cybercriminals exploited seven new reflection/amplification DDoS attack vectors. Netscout says this sudden boom in attack vectors triggered a rise in multivector DDoS attacks, the most devastating of which combined 31 different vectors.

Criminals are adapting their techniques to evade traditional defenses and target the supply chain. They are also increasingly launching triple extortion campaigns (ransomware, data theft and DDoS) to pressure victims into paying up. 

The fastest DDoS attack came in at 675 Mpps, a 16.17 percent increase on the fastest attack of last year. The largest DDoS attack, meanwhile, was 169 percent larger than anything witnessed last year, hitting 1.5 Tbps.

"Cybercriminals are making front-page news launching an unprecedented number of DDoS attacks to take advantage of the pandemic's remote work shift by undermining vital components of the connectivity supply chain," stated Richard Hummel, Threat Intelligence Lead at Netscout.

"Ransomware gangs added triple-extortion DDoS tactics to their repertoire. Simultaneously, the Fancy Lazarus DDoS extortion campaign kicked into high gear threatening organizations in multiple industries with a focus on ISPs and specifically their authoritative DNS servers."

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.