Analysis of 244,703 DDoS incidents

NSFOCUS released its DDoS Threat Report 2013, which details attack trends and methodologies over the past year. The report includes statistical analysis and key observations based on 244,703 DDoS incidents.

Observations indicate that DDoS attacks are maturing in the era of APT. DDoS attacks have been used as smokescreens to carry out APT attacks or for other malicious purposes. The report also notes the availability of DDoS-as-a-service, which affords anyone with a computer and a credit card the ability to carry out an attack.

DDoS amplification attacks will continue to present a challenge, as the March 2013 attack on anti-spam organization Spamhaus proved, in which traffic reached 300 Gbps. However, the potential for more severe DDoS amplification attacks, such as ones leveraging the NTP, can far exceed the bandwidth levels seen to date.

“DDoS is quickly becoming a common pain point, and businesses need to take this threat seriously if they expect to provide uninterrupted service to their customers,” said Frank Ip, vice president of U.S. operations for NSFOCUS.

In 2013, cyberattackers gave the market a lesson in hackernomics and showcased the myriad ways in which they have evolved their attack strategies to deploy sophisticated techniques that will inflict the maximum amount of damage using the fewest resources. The more we learn about attack mentality, the stronger our defenses become,” Ip added.

Findings reveal that hackernomics is driving an overarching DDoS trend of smaller, shorter and repeated attacks. The purpose of most attacks is to disrupt, not to destroy. As such, small application-layer or hybrid attacks, which are cheaper to launch, can cause substantial damage to network resources.

DNS attacks increased as a result of advancements in anti-DDoS technologies that can better counter other attack vectors, and DNS infrastructure continues to remain one of the weakest links.

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