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.

Perimeter

1/27/2015
04:35 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

Half Of Enterprises Worldwide Hit By DDoS Attacks, Report Says

New data illustrates how distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks remain a popular attack weapon -- and continue to evolve.

If you still think distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are merely old-school, outdated, pain in the neck disruption campaigns waged by hacktivists or script kiddies, think again: about half of all enterprises were hit with a DDoS attack last year and most ISPs and enterprises also suffered more stealthy DDoS attacks aimed at flying under the radar.

Some 90% of ISP and enterprise respondents in Arbor Networks' 10th Annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report say they experienced application-layer (versus network connection-sapping) DDoS attacks, and 42% say they were hit by DDoS attacks that used a combination of bandwidth-sapping, application-layer, and state exhaustion methods. HTTP- and DNS are the top two targets of application-layer attacks, according to the report, which was released today.

But so-called volumetric attacks, which bombard a targeted organization or ISP's network connections, still outnumber application-layer attacks, accounting for about two-thirds of all DDoS attacks in the past year. DDoS attacks are also becoming more frequent:  38% say they had been hit by more than 21 DDoS attacks per month in 2014, twice the number of organizations as in 2013.

The biggest DDoS attack in 2014 came in at a whopping 400 gigabits-per-second, according to Arbor. That's a far cry from the record-breaking 8Gbps when Arbor did its first report 10 years ago.

It's not all that's changed in DDoS attacks. "Application layer attacks weren't even a topic of discussion 10 years ago. That's a huge shift," says Gary Sockrider, solutions architect at Arbor Networks.

Application-layer attacks aim to overwhelm a server's resources, rather than the Internet pipe, and they operate "low and slow" to go undetected until it's too late. "If you have an application running on a server behind a 10Gig Internet connection, you could have something using only 1% of that pipe, and a 10 meg attack could exhaust the server resources," Sockrider says.

These attacks are often successful because many DDoS detection technologies can't see upper-layer application-layer traffic anomalies, and if they do, it may not be enough to trigger an alarm, he says. "They tend to be combined with volumetric attacks, which set off an alarm. While you are reacting to that, the application layer attack is sneaking through," so it can be used as a distraction for the real attack, he says.

According to Arbor's report, hacktivism isn't the number one motive for a DDoS anymore:  37% of these types of attacks are disputes between crime gangs; 36% stem from competitive rivalry between businesses or gamers; 34% from flash crowds or hacktivism; 28% for hiding data exfiltration or other compromises; 25% for financial market manipulation; and 24% for extortion purposes.

But not all anti-DDoS vendors are seeing a jump in app-layer DDoS attacks. David Fernandez, head of the Akamai PLXsert team, says while Akamai sees DDoS attacks overall on the rise, there has been a decline in application-layer DDoS attacks. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Akamai saw application-layer attacks accounting for about 10% of all DDoS attacks, and infrastructure/volumetric attacks making up nearly 90% of them.

"The dramatic increase in overall DDoS attacks mitigated in Q4 2014 is an example of how attackers considered this attack type a primary vector in their arsenal," Fernandez says. "New attack types and increased sophistication are always becoming more apparent."

Meanwhile, Arbor's data syncs with DDoS trends Incapsula is seeing, says Igal Zeifman product evangelist at Incapsula. His firm's research shows 45% of all businesses have been hit with a  DDoS attack at least once in the past year. "Any time you see a large number like 90 percent, it sounds high, but being hit by a cyberattack has become a part of doing business online," Zeifman says.

Not surprisingly, cloud services are being targeted as well. More than 25% of ISPs and enterprises surveyed by Arbor report seeing cloud services being targeted by DDoS campaigns. And more than one-third of data center operators say they were hit by a DDoS that sapped their Internet bandwidth, and 44% of data centers experienced revenue loss from a DDoS attack.

Arbor's report draws some 287 respondent organizations, including ISPs, hosting and mobie providers, as well as enterprises worldwide. Around 60% were service providers, and 30% enterprises, education, and government organizations.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Kelly Jackson Higgins
100%
0%
Kelly Jackson Higgins,
User Rank: Strategist
1/28/2015 | 3:17:44 PM
Re: Mult-Vector vs Volumetric
Hi @RyanSepe. Arbor's report shows DNS amplfication attacks dropping a bit in 2014, and NTP attacks rising. SSDP also rose last year. 



RyanSepe
100%
0%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
1/28/2015 | 3:03:36 PM
Mult-Vector vs Volumetric
The reason you will see the most prevalent means of ddos attacks as some type of flooding is because it takes less expertise for the attacker to pull off. Essentially, because its easier is why there are more instances of this. However, because this attack is more easily mitigated you will see enterprises that are attacked using this method restoring their technology services in a fraction of the time it takes for an enterprise to recover from a multi-vector attack.

As stated in the article these attacks are difficult to mitigate. They can attack multiple layers and because of this the time it takes an enterprise to restore functionality increases as well.

DNS based attacks were extremely prevalent in 2013 for their amplification and anonymity factors. I am interested to see how they were represented in 2014.
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-35419
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-14
Cross Site Scripting (XSS) in Group Office CRM 6.4.196 via the SET_LANGUAGE parameter.
CVE-2021-28060
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-14
A Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF) vulnerability in Group Office 6.4.196 allows a remote attacker to forge GET requests to arbitrary URLs via the url parameter to group/api/upload.php.
CVE-2021-28825
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-14
The Windows Installation component of TIBCO Software Inc.'s TIBCO Messaging - Eclipse Mosquitto Distribution - Core - Community Edition and TIBCO Messaging - Eclipse Mosquitto Distribution - Core - Enterprise Edition contains a vulnerability that theoretically allows a low privileged attacker with l...
CVE-2021-28826
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-14
The Windows Installation component of TIBCO Software Inc.'s TIBCO Messaging - Eclipse Mosquitto Distribution - Bridge - Community Edition and TIBCO Messaging - Eclipse Mosquitto Distribution - Bridge - Enterprise Edition contains a vulnerability that theoretically allows a low privileged attacker wi...
CVE-2021-28855
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-14
In Deark before 1.5.8, a specially crafted input file can cause a NULL pointer dereference in the dbuf_write function (src/deark-dbuf.c).