The number of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in the second quarter of 2020 was three times higher than the amount recorded in the same quarter of 2019, and only slightly lower than DDoS attacks in the first quarter. This is unusual, researchers say, as they usually see DDoS start to decline by now.
DDoS attacks typically follow a pattern, Kaspersky researchers reported in their recent analysis of second-quarter DDoS trends. It's a seasonal threat: DDoS attacks are usually higher early in the year because it's a peak season for businesses. Then they begin to decline in late spring and summer. In 2019, the number of attacks in the second quarter fell by 39% compared with the first quarter; in 2019, the difference between the first two quarters was 34%.
In 2020, however, the trend has shifted. From April to June, the count remained nearly the same as in the first quarter. The number of attacks slightly increased, and the number of smart attacks slightly decreased, but overall the profiles for both quarters were largely the same.
"The fact that the data we obtained for the 'low' second quarter was virtually identical to that for the 'high' first quarter is a testament to unprecedented growth in attacks in the reporting period," researchers wrote in a blog post. They pointed to the growth of remote work as a reason for the high and consistent number of online attacks.
The average duration of attacks, about 20 minutes, didn't change compared with the first quarter of 2020 or with last year. Smart attacks were the longest, at a duration of several hours. The researchers noted an "unusually long" attack in the second quarter affected the maximum DDoS duration, which grew 4.5 times compared with last year.
Target sectors also remained constant from the first quarter: Educational and government institutions were most frequently targeted. That said, attacks against educational institutions dropped starting in the second half of June, which researchers attribute to summer break.
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