Incident Response, Network Security, TDR

Report: DDoS attacks down, gov’t increasingly a target

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack traffic declined in the first quarter of 2014 and China held on to the top spot as the country from which the most attack traffic originated, according to observations disclosed by Akamai in its "State of the Internet Report" for the first quarter of 2014.

The number of DDoS attacks observed by Akamai in the fourth quarter decreased 20 percent to 283 attacks, over the 346 reported the quarter before, the report said.

The DDoS attacks “are primarily application layer attacks, attacks that are combated using web application firewall defenses, while the attacks seen by many other professionals include volumetric DDoS attacks,” Martin McKeay, senior security advocate at Akamai, told in an email correspondence. “Looking at the Prolexic report for the same time period, they reported a decline in application layer attacks while seeing an increase in the use of NTP and DNS reflection attacks, both of which are automatically absorbed by the Akamai Intelligent platform.”

In the enterprise sector traffic was down 49 percent over third quarter 2013 though the quarter saw a 34 percent rise in attacks on government targets within Singapore.

McKeay was surprised that the enterprise sector saw a significant decrease in attacks compared to previous quarters.

“This decrease accounted for the majority of the difference in attacks compared to previous quarters and might have had a more significant impact on the overall number of attacks if not for an increase in the number of attacks against public sector targets,” he said.

While China originated 41 percent of attack traffic (down from 43 percent the quarter before), the U.S., in second place, showed a more significant drop, to 11 percent, down from 19 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

Indonesia slid into the third place slot, originating 6.8 percent of attack traffic, up from 5.7 percent the quarter prior.

Overall, 75 percent of the observed attacks originated from the top 10 countries or regions, which represents a drop from the 88 percent recorded the quarter before.

Akamai bases its quarterly reports on attack traffic, broadband adoption, and mobile data information gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform. It looks at internet usage and data trends.

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