Akamai: DDoS Attacks Rise; M&E Companies Among Top Targets (CDSA)

December 14, 2015 · Posted in Latest News 

By Chris Tribbey

The third quarter saw a record 1,510 distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks recorded on Akamai’s routed network, an increase of 180% over the third quarter of 2014 and a 23% increase quarter to quarter, according to the company’s third quarter State of the Internet report.

Especially troubling for media and entertainment companies: the industry was the most frequently targeted by mega DDoS attacks (those measuring 100 Gbps or more) and accounted for 5% of all DDoS attacks. During the quarter, one media and entertainment company was the target of the largest million packets per second (Mpps) DDoS attack ever recorded, at 222 Mpps.

The online gaming sector was heavily targeted during the quarter, accounting for 50% of all DDoS attacks, with software and technology second at 25%. The Internet and telecom sector was hit by 5% of attacks, down from 13% in the second quarter. Retail suffered the vast majority of Web application attacks, accounting for 55%, according to the report.

“Akamai has been seeing greater numbers of denial of service attacks every quarter, and the upward trend continued in the most recent quarter. Although recent DDoS attacks were on average smaller and shorter, they still posed a significant cloud security risk,” said John Summers, VP of Akamai’s cloud security business unit. “Attacks are being fueled by the easy availability of DDoS-for-hire sites that identify and abuse exposed Internet services, such as SSDP, NTP, DNS, CHARGEN, and even Quote of the Day.”

Akamai’s report found that reflection-based DDoS attacks are proving “more popular” than infection-based DDoS, allowing attackers to use the existing landscape of exposed network devices and unsecured service protocols, instead of spending time building and maintaining DDoS botnets. Reflection DDoS attacks accounted for more than 33% of DDoS traffic in the third quarter, a huge jump from the less than 6% seen a year ago.

Akamai’s third-quarter security data saw the U.K. as the No. 1 source country for DDoS attacks at 26%, with China second (21%) and the U.S. third (17%).

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