DDoS Attacks Are up 149 Percent Toward End of 2015

Denial of service attacks work by using a network of hijacked computers to flood a site with phony traffic until it breaks.

New figures from Akamai’s State of the Internet report has shown that distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are up 149 percent in the last months of 2015.

The latest figures are from the State of the Internet Q4 2015 report that tracked nearly 3700 DDoS attacks during the final quarter of the past year, to reveal that DDoS attacks are up 169 percent targeting online infrastructure.

The report revealed that each customer was targeted an average of 24 DDoS attacks compared to 17 in 2014. The report also revealed that botnet booter services are increasing their packet size by using DNS, chargen, ntp and other vulnerable servers. DDoS attacks are widespread and made popular due to the likes of hacker groups like Lizard Squad, who have carved a reputation to building botnets of hacked routers to initiate DDoS attacks.

The report stated:

In other words, while the average gigabits/sec per attack increased, the average number of packets per second decreased. In fact, only three attacks exceeded 30 million packets per second in Q4, a stat that has steadily decreased for several quarters.

Significantly, the attacks are now more short-lived than before, resulting in the drop of the average time of DDoS attacks, the research revealed.

Furthermore, sites that offer booter tools are now purportedly set up to enable administrators to ‘load test’ their websites.

Further stats revealed:

  • Five of the tracked attacks have topped 100Gbps, down from the eight registered toward the end of 2014. One particular attack clocked in at a staggering 309 Gbps.
  • DNS-based traffic went up in a huge spike at 92 percent, while chargen traffic is up 52 percent and udp floods are up 20 percent.
  • Gaming sectors are among the most targeted DDoS sectors.
  • Software and tech firms are the second most targeted group of attacks.
  • Financial services, internet service providers and telecommunication firms come in third.