Quarterly Global DDoS Attack Report: Q2 2012

Published July 17, 2012

Quarterly Global DDoS Attack Report: Q2 2012

What You Need to Know

DDoS cybersecurity experts expect the number of DDoS attacks to continue to rise over the next few quarters, with all vertical industries likely to be targeted:

  • The technical barrier to entry has been significantly lowered for malicious actors who seek to participate in DDoS attacks through improved accessibility to no-cost and simple, yet powerful tools.
  • New types of attack tools will continue to evolve and achieve mainstream adoption in the coming months.
  • However, attack durations can be expected to continue declining for enterprises protected by a mitigation provider.

Multi-pronged attacks against a country’s electoral system during this quarter highlighted the potential for DDoS threats to the political process:

  • DDoS experts planned to analyze traffic patterns and data closely in the months leading up to the United States presidential election.
  • The increasing ease of launching DDoS attacks combined with rising trends in hacktivism leads to the high probability of politically motivated attacks.
  • Targets could include the presidential candidates’ websites, political parties or the interest groups that support them.

Spotlight: Shorter but higher volume denial of service attacks hit businesses in many industries in the second quarter of 2012

Notable distributed denial of service (DDoS) trends from July – August 2012 include the following:

  • Application layer attacks, especially the popular GET Flood Layer 7 attack, continued to diminish in popularity as perpetrators attempted to maximize botnet longevity and revenue while minimizing the risk of discovery.
  • At the same time, infrastructure-directed DDoS attacks increased, especially ICMP, SYN, and UDP floods.
  • DDoS attacks were evenly spread across all vertical industries – financial services, e-Commerce, SaaS, payment processing, travel/hospitality and gaming.

Highlights: Q2 2012 global DDoS attack statistics

Compared to Q1 2012

  • 10 percent increase in total number of attacks
  • 8 percent rise in Layer 3 and 4 infrastructure attacks
  • Average attack duration declines to 17 hours from 29
  • China retains its position as the main source country for DDoS attacks

Compared to Q2 2011

  • 50 percent increase in total number of DDoS attacks
  • 11 percent increase in infrastructure (Layer 3 & 4) attacks
  • Shorter average attack duration: 17 hours vs. 26 hours
  • 63 percent higher packet-per-second (pps) volume

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