Q2 2015 saw 132pc jump in DDoS attacks

|August 20, 2015 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: The threat posed by distributed denial of service (DDoS) and web application attacks continues to grow each quarter, reveals the Q2 2015 State of the Internet- Security Report by Akamai Technologies.

“Malicious actors are continually changing the game by switching tactics, seeking out new vulnerabilities and even bringing back old techniques that were considered outdated ,” said John Summers, vice president, Cloud Security Business Unit, Akamai.

DDoS attack activity


DDoS attack activity set a new record in Q2 2015, increasing 132% compared to Q2 2014 and increasing 7% compared to Q1 2015. Average peak attack bandwidth and volume increased slightly in Q2 2015 compared to Q1 2015, but remained significantly lower than the peak averages observed in Q2 2014.

The largest DDoS attack of Q2 2015 measured more than 240 gigabits per second (Gbps) and persisted for more than 13 hours.

Peak bandwidth is typically constrained to a one to two hour window. Q2 2015 also saw one of the highest packet rate attacks ever recorded across the Prolexic Routed network, which peaked at 214 Mpps. That attack volume is capable of taking out tier 1 routers, such as those used by Internet service providers (ISPs). 

SYN and Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) were the most common DDoS attack vectors this quarter – each accounting for approximately 16% of DDoS attack traffic.

Online gaming has remained the most targeted industry since Q2 2014, consistently being targeted in about 35 percent of DDoS attacks.

China has remained the top source of non-spoofed attack traffic for the past two quarters, and has been among the top three source countries since the very first report was issued in Q3 2011.

Web application attack activity

Shellshock, a Bash bug vulnerability was leveraged in 49% of the web application attacks this quarter, typically occured over HTTPS. In Q1 2015, only 9% of attacks were over HTTPS; this quarter 56% were over HTTPS channels.

SQL injection (SQLi) attacks accounted for 26% of all attacks. This represents a greater than 75% increase in SQLi alerts in the second quarter alone. In contrast, local file inclusion (LFI) attacks dropped significantly this quarter. Remote file inclusion (RFI), PHP injection (PHPi), command injection (CMDi), OGNL injection using OGNL Java Expressing Language (JAVAi), and malicious file upload (MFU) attacks combined accounted for 7% of web application attacks.

As in Q1 2015, the financial services and retail industries were attacked most frequently.

The threat of third-party WordPress plugins and themes

WordPress, the world’s most popular website and blogging platform, is an attractive target for attackers who aim to exploit hundreds of known vulnerabilities to build botnets, spread malware and launch DDoS campaigns.

The pros and cons of Tor

The Onion Router (TOR) project ensures the entry node to a network does not match the exit node, providing a cloak of anonymity for its users. While Tor has many legitimate uses, its anonymity makes it an attractive option for malicious actors.

The analysis showed that 99% of the attacks were sourced from non-Tor IPs. However, 1 out of 380 requests out of Tor exit nodes were malicious. In contrast, only 1 out 11,500 requests out of non-Tor IPs was malicious. That said, blocking Tor traffic could have a negative business affect. However, legitimate HTTP requests to e-commerce related pages showed that Tor exit nodes had conversion rates on par with non-Tor IPs.

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