DDoS attacks in Q2, do not underestimate the cyber threat

Pierluigi Paganini July 20, 2012

In the first quarter I proposed the results of an analysis conducted by Prolexic firm on the incidence of DDoS attacks.

A DDoS attack represents a nightmare for all those all companies that provide web services that could be blocked by similar offensive, let’s imagine the effect of a DDoS against a financial institution or against an e-commerce site of a great on-line store … no doubt the event is synonymous of loss of money.

Let’s consider also that DDoS attacks could be also used to block critical services, in a warfare scenario with this kind of attacks is possible to isolate a specific target or a vital service proceeding with other types of offensive.

But the DDoS is becoming famous also because it was a preferred mode of attack of group of hacktivists such as the famous Anonymous.

Prolexic is the world’s largest and most trusted distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation service provider and have published the data related to DDoS attacks against its client occurred in Q2 2012.

The cyber threat has no boundaries and has hit all the sector of industry such as financial services, e-Commerce, SaaS, payment processing, travel/hospitality and gaming.

We learned that a DDoS attack could use different platforms and interesting several infrastructure layers, the detected events have mostly impacted Layer 3 and Layer 4. The Prolexis reports describes the phenomenon as a return to the past, when these layers were the most impacted and the attacks interested principally bandwidth capacity and routing infrastructure.

Infrastructure attacks accounted for 81% of total attacks during the quarter with application layer attacks making up the remaining 19%, data in opposition with what has been observed in the three previous quarters.

The type of DDoS most used is SYN Flood but it has been also observed a new raise of UDP Floods mode.

Interesting parameters for the qualification of a DDoS attack are the duration and Average attack speed. In Q2 2012 the average attack duration, compared with of the previous quarter data, is passed from 28,5 hours to 17 hours and also the average attack speed is decreased recording a speed of 4.4 Gbps and average packet-per-second (pps) volume totaled 2.7 million.

Analyzing in detail the number of attacks related to the quarter it’s is anyway notice a reduction of the total number respect previous quarter, it’s also possible observe that 47% of attacks has been registered on June, curiously concomitant opening of Euro 2012 soccer tournament, demonstrating that also sporting events have an impact on the internet security.

Which are the most active nations under the offensive perspective?

This quarter China confirmed its leadership in the chart of attack source country rankings with Thailand and the United States.

In the next months it is expected that the number of DDoS attacks will still increase also thanks the development of new tools and the diffusion of new botnets.

The report dedicates a specific session to a newer version of the Russkill bot also also known as Dirt Jumper, responsible for a sensible number of attacks, it seems that the author of the malware has released another DDoS toolkit that has similar structure and functionalities, named Pandora, that will give a sensible contribute in term of cyber attacks.

Consider also that a sensible contribution to the growth of number of cyber attacks is also provided by the diffusion of botnet based on mobile devices.

Despite this Quarter has registered a reduction of the total number of attacks the cyber threat is still very worrying, the total number of attacks doubled in Q2 2012 respect the same quarter one year ago … underestimate the threat could be very dangerous!

Pierluigi Paganini

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