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Bandwidth of Average DDoS Attack Jumped 718 Percent: Prolexic

Massive DDoS Attacks Are Overwhelming Appliances, ISPs, Carriers, and Content Delivery Networks.

Prolexic Technologies, a provider of DDoS attack mitigation solutions, recently released its Quarterly Global DDoS Attack Report, which revealed a significant jump in bandwidth used in the average DDoS attack.

Massive DDoS Attacks Are Overwhelming Appliances, ISPs, Carriers, and Content Delivery Networks.

Prolexic Technologies, a provider of DDoS attack mitigation solutions, recently released its Quarterly Global DDoS Attack Report, which revealed a significant jump in bandwidth used in the average DDoS attack.

According to Prolexic’s numbers, the average attack bandwidth totaled 48.25 Gbps in Q1 2013, a 718 percent increase over last quarter, with the average packet-per-second rate topping 32.4 million.

Attackers are gaining more resource through botnets and hacked servers in data centers to launch more powerful attacks. They are getting better at understanding how the Internet routing topology works and launching more sophisticated attacks using various techniques.

Layer 3 and Layer 4 infrastructure attacks remained the most common attack type, accounting for 76.54 percent of total attacks during the quarter, with Layer 7 (application layer) attacks making up the remaining 23.46 percent.

Throughout the attacks the company mitigated during the quarter, SYN (25.83 percent), GET (19.33 percent), UDP (16.32 percent) and ICMP (15.53 percent) floods were the attack types most often seen.

In terms of attack duration, the average attack lasted 34.5 hours in Q1, a 7.14 percent rise from an average of 32.2 hours the previous quarter.

Prolexic said that it is seeing a shift to high packet-per-second DDoS attacks specifically designed to overwhelm infrastructure elements such as routers. Failure of these devices often causes collateral damage, typically taking thousands of websites offline, the company said.

“It’s a classic change up,” said Stuart Scholly, president at Hollywood, Florida-based Prolexic. “Nearly everyone has been focused on bandwidth and gigabits per second, but it’s the packet rate that’s causing the most damage and presenting the biggest challenge. These packet rates are above the thresholds of all but the most expensive routers and line cards and we are seeing networks buckle as a result.”

Other highlights from Prolexic’s Q1 2013 Global DDoS Attack Report include:

Compared to Q4 2012:

• Average attack bandwidth up 718 percent from 5.9 Gbps to 48.25 Gbps

• Total number of infrastructure attacks rise 3.65 percent; total number of application attacks fall 3.85 percent

• 1.75 percent increase in total number of DDoS attacks

Compared to Q1 2012:

• Average attack bandwidth up 691 percent from 6.1 Gbps to 48.25 Gbps

• 21 percent increase in average attack duration from 28.5 hours to 34.5 hours

• Total number of infrastructure attacks up 26.75 percent; total number of application attacks up 8 percent

• 21.75 percent rise in total number of attacks

Across its client base, more than 10 percent of DDoS attacks averaged more than 60 Gbps during Q1 2013.

An attack against an undisclosed enterprise customer during the quarter peaked at 130 Gbps.

In response to these massive attacks, many carriers and ISPs are being forced to null route (black hole) traffic to protect their networks, Prolexic said.

China secured the top spot in attack source country rankings, joined by the United States, Germany, and for the first time, Iran.

Written By

For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.

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