According to research, the size and scale of Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDOS) attacks are increasing due to the availability of free tools that remove the need for an attacker to be tech savvy.
Other causes for the rise are the increase in home connection speeds, and because it’s easier and cheaper to purchase botnets on the dark web and powerful cloud servers, enabling attackers to push a large amount of traffic to any single system. Also, home networks are getting faster, so a botnet doesn’t have to be significantly large these days to have a big effect.
Data shows that in the first six months of 2016, there was a large surge in the number and power of (DDoS) attacks, with the largest attack reportedly recorded at 579Gbps. Over the last 12 months, the New Year’s Eve attack on the BBC was a record breaking 602Gbps.
83% Year-on-Year Increase in number of DDoS attacks
According to Nexusguard there has been an 83% increase compared to those seen last year.
The number of DDOS attacks taking place per week now numbers above the 120,000 level and is set to continue to rise.
Russia was the most attacked nation with 76,462 DDOS attacks recorded in the second quarter of 2016. China was the second most attacked nation with 28,399 and the US was third with 23,738. The UK meanwhile was the fifth most attacked nation with 4,334 recorded attacks.
Threat of DDOS can reap rewards for Criminals
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are one of the most effective and disruptive weapons in a hacker’s arsenal and are used to make a website or online service unavailable by flooding a server with traffic.
In April, researchers estimated that threat group Armada Collective has earned at least $100,000 by simply sending emails to businesses threatening to launch debilitating attacks unless they paid a "protection fee" to stop the attacks going forward.
According to reports, over the last 18 months, 124,000 DDoS attacks take place per week and this figure is set to rise.
Already, over the past week web host 123-Reg was hit by a DDOS attack on its data centre and the servers of video game creator Blizzard were attacked resulting in disruption for gamers worldwide.
How to Defend Against DDoS Attacks
DDoS attacks can be protected against using a variety of common techniques. A firewall can be configured to deny more than x number of requests. There are also load balancing solutions such as CloudFlare which aim to protect against DDoS attacks.
When a business or organisation falls under attack speed is of the essence. PGI’s monitoring services keep an eye on a client’s systems for signs of malicious activity and warns if they are under attack. Outsourcing Protective Monitoring to PGI results in world-leading experts watching out for abnormalities, highlighting risks and providing mitigation solutions, as well as recovery recommendations.
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