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Akamai Reports Big Increases in DDoS Attacks

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Attacks rose sharply in Q1 2016

Content delivery network (CDN) and cloud services provider Akamai Technologies recently released a report that revealed sharp increases in DDoS attacks in the first quarter (Q1) of 2016.

Akamai’s [link url=”” title=”Q1 2016 State of the Internet – Security Report“] reported evidence from multiple avenues of increased attack activity across the board in Q1. Increases occurred from both a year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter perspective.

On a yearly basis, DDoS attacks, showed a 125.36 percent increase in Q1, with an even higher (142.14 percent) increase in the infrastructure layer. Large DDoS attacks (greater than 100 Gbps) increased 137.5 percent — from 8 in Q1 2915 to 19 in Q1 2016. Attack duration was down from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016, though, showing a 34.98 percent decrease.

On a quarterly basis, from the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2015 to Q1 2016, DDoS attacks increased 22.47 percent, with a 23.17 rise in the infrastructure layer. Large DDoS attacks of more than 100 Gbps inreased 280 percent — from 5 in Q4 2015 to 19 in Q1 2016. And quarterly results showed a 7.96 percent increase in the average attack duration.

DDoS Attack: A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack occurs when multiple compromised systems (i.e. computers at various locations), are utilized to target a single system repeatedly in an effort to cause a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, or effectively shut down the system due to too much traffic. These types of attacks are often used in association with a Trojan or similar virus that allows for the takeover of multiple remote computers.

Akamai noted in its report that it mitigated 4,523 DDoS attacks with its own routers in Q1 2016, which represents a 22 percent increase from the previous quarter, when it mitigated 3,693 attack events internally.

On sale: DDoS attacks

The observed increase in DDoS attacks could potentially be due to the fact that they are now more affordable to launch than ever. A recent report referred to the use of [link url=”” title=”cheap botnets“] as a possible explanation for the rise in DDoS attacks — especially massive, powerful DDoS attacks that exceed 100 Gbps.

Web application attacks

Quarter-over-quarter, Akamai also observed an increase in Web application attacks. There was a 25.52 percent increase from Q4 2015 to Q1 2016, with a huge 235.99 percent increase in Web application attacks over HTTPS in that time frame.

Matt Mills has been involved in various aspects of online media, both on the editorial side and on the technology side, for more than 16 years. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, and is currently involved in multiple projects focused on innovation journalism.

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