DDoS attacks are still a danger, even during the lull period

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks – where attackers seek to take down a website or application by flooding it with requests – may well be old, but they never go away.

There were around 7.5 million DDoS attacks in 2017. According to a recent report from Verisign, there was a 53% increase in the number of DDoS attacks between Q4 2017 and Q1 2018, as well as a 47% rise in the attack peak sizes. Akamai’s most recent report found a 16% year-on-year increase in DDoS attacks. And there could be even more dangerous DDoS attacks on the horizon.

“At the moment the focus [of cybercriminals] seems to be on quick and easy revenue generators; ransomware, bitcoin mining,” says Bharat Mistry, Principal Security Strategist at Trend Micro.  “But the fact that you've got those compromised devices means it could come back around [to DDoS].”

Reports of IoT botnets originally used in DDoS attacks being made to send email spam or mine cryptocurrency are not uncommon. But as soon as they become less profitable or a new technique comes to light, those botnets are likely to return to being drones in DDoS as a Service attacks.

“There's a cyclical trend where attackers will attack as they discover new mechanisms and methodologies then take a little bit of time to retool as some of the defenses for network capabilities catch up,” says Carlos Morales, VP Cloud and Managed Services at Arbor Networks.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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