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DDoS attacks on the rise: Akamai

Anuradha Shukla | Aug. 26, 2015
Findings from Akamai's Q2 2015 State of the Internet Security Report.

The number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) have more than doubled in Q2 2015 as compared to Q2 2014, according to a newly released report by Akamai Technologies.

Findings of the report show that an aggressive, multi-week Shellshock application attack, targeting a single customer, was responsible for 49 percent of web application attack alerts in Q2 2015.

There has been a doubling in the number of DDoS attacks year over year for the past three quarters and this quarter's report also uncovers 49 new WordPress plug-in and theme vulnerabilities.

There were 12 attacks peaking at more than 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps) and five attacks peaking at more than 50 Million packets per second (Mpps) in Q2 2015.

"The threat posed by distributed denial of service (DDoS) and web application attacks continues to grow each quarter," said John Summers, vice president, Cloud Security Business Unit, Akamai. "Malicious actors are continually changing the game by switching tactics, seeking out new vulnerabilities and even bringing back old techniques that were considered outdated. By analysing the attacks observed over our networks, we're able to identify emerging threats and trends and provide the public with the information to harden their networks, websites and application and improve their cloud security profiles."

Largest DDoS attack
The largest DDoS attack of Q2 2015 measured more than 240 gigabits per second (Gbps) and lasted over 13 hours. This quarter also recorded one of the highest packet rate attacks across the Prolexic Routed network, which peaked at 214 Mpps.

Although average peak attack bandwidth and volume increased slightly in Q2 2015 compared to Q1 2015, it remained significantly lower than the peak averages observed in Q2 2014.

The most common DDoS attack vectors this quarter were SYN and Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP). Each of them accounted for about 16 percent of DDoS attack traffic.

"The more you know about cyber security threats, the better you can defend your enterprise," added Summers.


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