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‘Pandemic effect’ drives increase in number and severity of DDoS attacks

(Image credit: Image Credit: Profit_Image / Shutterstock)

Since the Covid-19 pandemic forced people indoors, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks have risen  by “virtually every metric”.

According to a new report from Neustar, the overall number of attacks, their severity and intensity have all increased. In the first quarter of the year, Neustar mitigated more than twice the number of attacks than in the same period of the previous year.

In the second quarter, meanwhile, it dealt with one of the largest attacks in the internet’s history at 1.17 Tbps (the largest ever recorded reached 2.3 Tbps, blocked only recently by AWS Shield). According to the report, today’s DDoS attacks regularly top 300 Mbps.

For Brian McCann, President of Security Solutions at Neustar, this sudden jump in DDoS activity isn’t that surprising. With the majority of employees suddenly forced to work from home, mostly using insecure devices and connections, they are a prime target for criminals, hackers and fraudsters.

The report states that most DDoS attacks focus on corporate assets, but DNS hijacking has also been recorded.  

The pandemic’s effect on internet traffic is “clear”, says Neustar. The firm has seen a 250 percent increase in queries for popular collaboration platforms, while businesses that manufacture and sell respiratory masks have also witnessed a “sharp rise in traffic”.