Prolexic Report: ‘Distributed Denial of Service attacks on the increase’

Posted On 30 May 2014
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Prolexic’s latest report on Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks has shown that, compared to this time last year, the number of attacks has increased by 22%. The report also shows that the average attack bandwidth has increased by 72%, while the average peak bandwidth has risen by 241%. On the positive side, the report states that attack duration has decreased by 54% from an average of 38 hours to 17 hours. They may last for a shorter period, but the attacks are more frequent and more powerful. A DDoS attack is an attempt to make a computer network unavailable to its intended users, normally by targeting it with so much data that it slows the network down and renders it unresponsive to its intended users. The largest reported DDoS attack to date was when a client of CloudFlare was targeted, with the peak of this attack reaching 400 gigabits per second. With the threat of cyber attack increasing” something identified in the Business Continuity Institute’s latest Horizon Scan report, which shows that 73% of business continuity professionals are either concerned or extremely concerned by this threat materialising” the technology to counter such attacks has also developed. This could explain why the length of attacks has decreased” as one attack fails, the attacker quickly moves on to an easier target. Gaming, software and media worlds hit hard While the length of the attacks has” on average” halved since last year, it’s still worth noting that 17 hours could result in a major outage for the organisation being attacked. If that organisation is reliant upon its network then the consequences may be dire. The Prolexic report outlines the industries that were most targeted by these types of attack. The gaming industry was the main victim, accounting for nearly half (46%) of all attacks. The report suggests that” gaming attacks are frequently motivated by players trying to gain a competitive advantage, or by malicious actors seeking to steal personal data from players.” The software and technology industry and the media and entertainment sector accounted for 22% and 15% of attacks respectively, while the financial sector accounted for 10% of all attacks. The United States was the origin of most attacks, accounting for over 20%. Having not appeared on the list at all in the previous report, Japan wasn’t too far behind with 18% while China accounted for 12% of attacks and Germany 10%.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.