Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks rose by 180 percent between 2018 and 2019, according to new figures from Neustar.
The global information services and technology company said its Security Operations Centre registered an increase in DDoS attacks across all size categories. Attacks of up to 5Gbps (“small-scale attacks") exhibited the greatest growth and made up more than three quarters of all attacks.
The largest mitigated threat in 2019 was 31 percent larger than the most significant attack of the previous year, and the maximum intensity was 252 percent higher. However, the average attack size (12Gbps) and intensity (3Mpps) remained consistent year-on-year.
The longest uninterrupted attack of the year lasted three days, 13 hours and eight minutes.
Almost all attacks (85 percent) used at least two threat vectors, while the proportion of attacks using two or three vectors rose from 55 to 70 percent. Meanwhile, the number of simple single-vector attacks and complex four- and five-vector attacks dropped, leading researchers to believe attackers have settled into a “Goldilocks zone”.
“Large, headline-making DDoS attacks do still take place, but many cybersecurity professionals believe that smaller attacks are being used simply to degrade site performance or as a smokescreen for other forms of cybercrime, such as data theft or network infiltration, which the perpetrator can execute more easily while the target’s security team is busy fighting a DDoS attack,” said Rodney Joffe, Senior Technologist at Neustar.
“Furthermore, with the current move of the bulk of the workforce globally to a work from home model, we expect to see a significant increase in DDoS attacks against VPN infrastructure. This risk makes an ‘always on’ DDoS mitigation service even more critical.”
- The best antivirus software in 2020