DDoS Attacks Soar since the Beginning of Pandemic-Induced Digital Era

DDoS Attacks Soar since the Beginning of Pandemic-Induced Digital Era

DDoS attacks are rapidly increasing, with nearly 10 million-plus attacks indicating a 22% rise in frequency, reveals a Netscout study.

Cyber-attackers are actively exploiting vulnerabilities exposed by the increased internet usage shifts as most of the users are not protected by enterprise-grade cyber-security. Netscout has released its 2H2020 Threat Intelligence Report, revealing a massive 10,089,687 DDoS attacks found during 2020.

In this aspect, cybercriminals have been paying keen attention to the essential pandemic industry verticals such as e-commerce, streaming services, online learning, and healthcare. This led to an almost 20% year-over-year surge in cyber-attack occurrence from 2019, alongside a 22% increase in the second half of 2020.

With the digital era here to stay, it will be crucial for security professionals to remain vigilant to protect widespread critical business infrastructure. Reportedly, there have been monthly DDoS attack activities with threat actors increasing their DDoS action amid the remote working culture.

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Several enterprise leaders stated DDoS extortion cyber-attacks increased by 125%. Overloaded firewalls and VPN concentrators, crucial technologies that are used during the lockdowns contributed to the outages in 83% of the businesses that suffered DDoS attacks.

Even the Mirai malware usage continued to increase amid the pandemic. Adversaries using Mirai malware and its variants took advantage of the sudden shifts away from enterprise-grade protection. This is to create a hike in brute-force efforts upon IoT consumer-grade devices.

In reality, the monthly DDoS cyber-attacks exceeded 800,000 in March 2020 – this represents a new high for the DDoS attack ecosystem. On average, there were around 839,083 attacks every month in 2020. This is an increase of roughly 130,000 attacks compared to 2019.

Even the attackers absorbed multiple devices to their botnets to further strengthen the frequency, throughput, and size of DDoS attacks globally. The commonly used UDP-centric DDoS attack vectors hard-pressed the overall attack increase scenario.

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Inventive reflection or amplification DDoS vectors legally recognized the abuse of misconfigured Microsoft RDP. This is over UDP, Plex Media SSDP, and DTLS services – ensuing in an ever more complex cyber threat landscape.

In this context, Richard Hummel, threat intelligence leader at Netscout concludes, “Cybercriminals set multiple records in 2020, taking advantage of the shift towards remote work across the globe. The second half of last year witnessed a huge upsurge in DDoS attacks, brute-forcing of access credentials, and malware targeting internet-connected devices.”

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