DDoS attacks on the rise

The frequency and power of DDoS has skyrocketed over the past few months and the first quarter of 2013 will go down in history as the worst quarter for DDoS attacks in history. 

According to data from Prolexic (PDF),  Q1 was a “landmark quarter” for DDoS attacks. The outfit described the volume of attacks as “remarkable,” with more bandwidth and sophistication. Average attack bandwidth was up 718 percent from the last quarter. It went from 5.9Gbps to a staggering 48.2Gbps in the space of just three months.

“Average packet-per-second rate and average bit rate spiked in the first quarter and both are growing at a fast clip,” Prolexic said. “This indicates that advanced malicious actors have become more adept at harnessing the power of large DDoS botnets. Furthermore, it indicates that the malicious groups behind these large-scale attacks are becoming more organized and are coordinating with different veteran crime organizations.”

The vast majority of DDoS attacks originate from small, independent actors and they tend to top out at about 1Gbps. However, 50Gbps is more than enough to bring down huge organisations, such as banks, and cause headaches for even the biggest players. The recent spike in bandwidth means that more low-skilled actors could be able to execute serious attacks. 

Worse, at this point nobody seems to be taking these DDoS kids seriously. Small DDoS attacks are viewed as a nuisance and there are simply too many of them to investigate and nab the perpetrators. As the number of botnets and the bandwidth are growing at an alarming pace, they could cause a lot more damage while staying under the radar.