Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


03:45 PM
Dark Reading
Dark Reading
Products and Releases

Prolexic Releases Q3 Global Attack Report

DDoS perpetrators changed tactics in Q3 2013 to boost attack sizes and hide their identities

HOLLYWOOD, FL – (October 23, 2013) – Prolexic Technologies, the global leader in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection services, today reported that DDoS perpetrators changed tactics in Q3 2013 to boost attack sizes and hide their identities. This observation is one of many key findings found in the company's Q3 2013 Global DDoS Attack Report, which was published today, and can be downloaded from www.prolexic.com/attackreports.

"This quarter, the major concern is that reflection attacks are accelerating dramatically, increasing 265% over Q3 2012 and up 70% over Q2," said Stuart Scholly, president of Prolexic. "The bottom line is that DDoS attackers have found an easier, more efficient way to launch high bandwidth attacks with smaller botnets and that's concerning."

Attackers are flocking to so-called distributed reflection denial of service (DrDoS) attacks as they provide the benefit of obscuring the source of the attack (anonymity), while enabling the bandwidth of intermediary victims to be used, often unknowingly, to multiply the size of the attack (amplification). In DrDos attacks, there are always two victims, the intended target and the intermediary.

Prolexic's latest report reveals that the total number of attacks against its clients in Q3 2013 remained high and represented the highest total for one quarter. This occurrence illustrates a consistently heightened level of DDoS activity around the world over the last six months. Of note, more than 62% of Q3 DDoS attacks originated from China, far surpassing all other countries. Findings are based on data gathered from attacks launched during the quarter against Prolexic's global client base.

For the quarter, peak bandwidth averaged 3.06 Gbps and peak packets-per-second (pps) averaged 4.22 Mpps. The largest attack Prolexic mitigated during Q3 was directed at a European media company, peaking at 120 Gbps.

Summary highlights from Prolexic's Q3 2013 Global DDoS Attack Report

Compared to Q2 2013

1.58 percent increase in total DDOS attacks

6% decrease in application layer (Layer 7) attacks

4% increase in infrastructure (Layer 3 & 4) attacks

44% decrease in the average attack duration: 21.33 hours vs. 38 hours

Compared to Q3 2012

58% increase in total DDOS attacks

101% increase in application layer (Layer 7) attacks

48% increase in infrastructure (Layer 3 & 4) attacks

12.3 percent increase in the average attack duration: 21.33 hours vs. 19 hours

Analysis and emerging trends

Prolexic data for Q3 2013 shows a 70% increase in reflection attacks (DNS and CHARGEN) over the previous quarter and a 265% increase over the same quarter last year. This rise in DrDoS attacks should come as no surprise, as attack methods that inflict high damage with low effort will always be popular.

"DrDoS attacks don't require as many bots because the amplification factor is so large," explained Scholly. "Because less outbound bot traffic is needed, the botnet can be much smaller. This makes it easier for these botnets to fly under the radar unless you know what to look for."

Prolexic has closely monitored DrDoS attacks for the last 12 months and has correctly forecasted their increasing popularity, as discussed in a series of four white papers on this resurfacing attack methodology.

"Q3 data also shows that infrastructure attacks maintained their share of total attacks, but within this group there was a big jump in UDP attacks and a corresponding drop in SYN attacks," said Scholly. "Combined with the rise in reflection attacks, this quarter showed a significant shift in attack methodologies that all businesses should be aware of."

Prolexic's latest attack report includes a detailed analysis of the trend toward reflection attacks, DrDoS reflection services within the underground marketplace. The analysis examines DrDoS attack methods, tools and services – specifically CHARGEN attacks being integrated into the DDoS threatscape – and provides steps for remediating CHARGEN attacks.

A complimentary copy of Prolexic's Q3 2013 Global DDoS Attack Report is available as a free PDF download from www.prolexic.com/attackreports. Prolexic's Q4 2013 report will be released early in the first quarter of 2014.

About Prolexic

Prolexic is the world's largest, most trusted Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation provider. Able to absorb the largest and most complex attacks ever launched, Prolexic restores mission-critical Internet-facing infrastructures for global enterprises and government agencies within minutes. Ten of the world's largest banks and the leading companies in e-Commerce, SaaS, payment processing, travel/hospitality, gaming, energy and other at-risk industries rely on Prolexic to protect their businesses. Founded in 2003 as the world's first in-the-cloud DDoS mitigation platform, Prolexic is headquartered in Hollywood, Florida, and has scrubbing centers located in the Americas, Europe and Asia. To learn more about how Prolexic can stop DDoS attacks and protect your business, please visit www.prolexic.com, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and @Prolexic on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Attackers Leave Stolen Credentials Searchable on Google
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2021
How to Better Secure Your Microsoft 365 Environment
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/25/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: We need more votes, check the obituaries.
Current Issue
2020: The Year in Security
Download this Tech Digest for a look at the biggest security stories that - so far - have shaped a very strange and stressful year.
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise -- and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-26
KLog Server through 2.4.1 allows authenticated command injection. async.php calls shell_exec() on the original value of the source parameter.
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-26
The ftpd gem 0.2.1 for Ruby allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary OS commands via shell metacharacters in a LIST or NLST command argument within FTP protocol traffic.
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-26
SmartAgent 3.1.0 allows a ViewOnly attacker to create a SuperUser account via the /#/CampaignManager/users URI.
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-26
NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier Series, Jetson Xavier NX, TX1, TX2, Nano and Nano 2GB, L4T versions prior to 32.5, contains a vulnerability in the apply_binaries.sh script used to install NVIDIA components into the root file system image, in which improper access control is applied, which may lead to an un...
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-26
NVIDIA Tegra kernel in Jetson AGX Xavier Series, Jetson Xavier NX, TX1, TX2, Nano and Nano 2GB, all L4T versions prior to r32.5, contains a vulnerability in the INA3221 driver in which improper access control may lead to unauthorized users gaining access to system power usage data, which may lead to...