Black Lotus Quarterly Threat Report Reveals Average DDoS Attack Tripled in Volume

Total attack frequency drops 44 percent in Q4 2014, confirming company’s forecast of fewer, more complex methods

March 26, 2015

3 Min Read


SAN FRANCISCO – March 24, 2015 – The average packet volume for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks increased 340 percent to 4.36 million packets per second (Mpps), and the average bit volume swelled 245 percent to 12.1 gigabits per second (Gbps) in the final quarter of 2014. The increases in average attack packet and bit volume signal a change of attack methods deployed by perpetrators. Cybercriminals favored more complex attacks, using multiple vectors and blending application layer, SYN and user-datagram protocol (UDP) flood attacks together. These findings were issued today via Black LotusQ4 2014 Threat Report. Black Lotus, a leader in availability, security and provider of DDoS protection, issues its Threat Reports each quarter, analyzing its network logs’ newest attack data and evaluating the results for trends in attack size, duration, method, source and other characteristics.

Black Lotus customers experienced a continued drop in attack quantity paired with an increase in volume compared to the previous quarter, according to the Black Lotus Q4 2014 Threat Report, which analyzes DDoS attack data between Sept. 30 and Dec. 30, 2014. Black Lotus revised its estimate that enterprises will need security measures capable of handling 15 Gbps minimum in bit volume, up from its Q3 prediction of five Gbps minimum, to protect against the majority of attacks throughout 2015. Black Lotus’ research team anticipates attackers will continue to try new DDoS recipes to confuse security teams, while agitators steal user credentials, customer billing information or confidential files.

The report findings also show that:

  • The largest bit volume DDoS attack observed during the report period was 41.1 Gbps on Oct. 1, a swell in volume since the beginning of 2014, due to attackers’ usage of blended, complex attacks to achieve outages. Organizations should take care to scrutinize other parts of their systems to guard against credential leaks or other data breaches, as cyberattackers will often use DDoS as a distraction for other nefarious activity.

  • Forty-nine percent of the 143,410 attacks observed during Q4 2014 were regarded as severe, and more than half of all attacks mitigated resulted from UDP flood attacks, which cause poor host performance or extreme network congestion via producing high amounts of packets and IP spoofing.

  • The average attack during the period reported was 12.1 Gbps, a jump in bit volume, and 4.36 Mpps, tripling average packet volume since last quarter. This indicated a continued reliance on leveraging multi-vector attacks, signaling the need for security practitioners to tap intelligent DDoS mitigation rather than padding networks with extra bandwidth.

“We found DDoS attacks continued trending down in frequency quarter over quarter, but, on average, attack volumes multiplied,” said Shawn Marck, co-founder and chief security officer of Black Lotus. “With networks and IT teams becoming defter at spotting and stopping volumetric attacks, cybercriminals are turning to blended approaches to confuse organizations, often using DDoS attacks as smokescreens for other underhanded activity.”

Download the full Black Lotus Q4 2014 Threat Report for more details.


About Black Lotus Communications
Black Lotus Communications is a security innovator that pioneered the first commercially viable DDoS mitigation solutions. These advanced solutions enhance the security posture of small and medium businesses and enterprise clients while reducing capital expenditures, managing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving earnings and retention. Breakthrough developments at Black Lotus include the world's first DDoS-protected hosting network, the first IPv6 DDoS mitigation environment, and the first highly effective Layer 7 attack mitigation strategy. For more information, visit  or follow Black Lotus on Twitter at


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