Cybercriminals are strengthening their DDoS attacks with more amplification and new methods to refine their botnets, according to the just released "Kaspersky DDoS Intelligence Report for Q1 2016."

DDoS attacks employing amplification/reflection strategies remain a favorite tool for miscreants, with targets running from presidential candidates to security companies. And attacks at the application level remain high.

Hackers are more and more using the DNSSEC protocol to carry out DDoS attacks, the report found. This strategy enables them to minimize DNS spoofing attacks, while amplifying the power of their incursions.

Attackers target the .gov domain as well as security companies, particularly those offering anti-DDoS services, the report found. While security company sites are well protected, they still remain a favorite target because they are being used as test beds, the researchers determined.

The number of DDoS attacks declined a bit compared to last year, but their strength has increased fourfold.