Gaming still number one target for DDoS attacks

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks continued to plague the gaming and software/technology industries during Q1 of 2015, according to a new report by Akamai.

The Q1 2015 State of the Internet Security Report found that gaming companies and services were targeted in 35 per cent of DDoS attacks during the period while the software and technology sector was targeted in 25 per cent of all attacks during Q1 2015.

These percentages were almost identical to Q4 of 2014 when gaming was targeted in 35.33 per cent of DDoS attacks while software and technology companies were targeted in 26.58 per cent of attacks.

“In Q4, attacks were fuelled by malicious actors seeking to gain media attention or notoriety from peer groups, damage reputations and cause disruptions in gaming services,” read the report.

“This trend continued in the first quarter of 2015, especially in January.”

Other industries that were targeted included media and entertainment companies (7.5 per cent) and Internet and telecommunications firms (14 per cent).

The report found there was a 35 per cent increase in the number of DDoS attacks compared to Q4 of 2014.

Last year, high bandwidth and short duration attacks were the norm. But in Q1 2015, the typical DDoS attack was less than 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) and endured for more than 24 hours.

Akamai cloud security business unit vice-president John Summers said there were eight mega-attacks in Q1, each exceeding 100 Gbps.

“While that was one fewer mega-attack than in Q4 2014, such large attacks were rarely seen a year ago. The largest DDoS attack observed in Q1 2015 peaked at 170 Gbps,” he said.

According to the report, a menu of easy-to-use attack vectors found in the DDoS-for-hire market can make it easy to dismiss the effectiveness of attackers who use them.

“A year ago, peak attack traffic using these tactics from booter/stresser sites typically measured 10-20 Gbps per second,” said Summers.

“Now these attack sites have become more dangerous, capable of launching attacks in excess of 100 Gbps. With new reflection attack methods being added continually, such as SSDP, the potential damage from these is expected to continue increasing over time

During Q1, DDoS attack traffic came from China (23.4 per cent) Germany (17.3 per cent), the United States (12.18 per cent), Italy (8.38 per cent), Spain (7.29 per cent), India (6.93 per cent), Korea (6.23 per cent), United Kingdom (6.17 per cent), France (6.03 per cent) and Russia (5.95 per cent).

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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