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Millions of DDoS attacks hit Asia Pacific in 2017

25 Jan 2018

Automation and managed services may be the key mechanisms for fighting distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, according to new findings from NETSCOUT Arbor

The 13th Annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report (WISR) confirms the prevalence and scale of DDoS attacks, particularly against service providers and enterprises.

There were 7.5 million attacks across Arbor’s ATLAS infrastructure, which makes up one third of global internet traffic. The biggest attack reported by a service provider reached 600 Gbps, slightly lower than an 800 Gbps attack reported in 2016.

NETSCOUT Arbor chief technology officer Darren Anstee says attackers shifted their focus away from huge attack volumes and instead focused on complexity to leverage IoT device weaponisation.

“Attackers have been effective, and the proportion of enterprises experiencing revenue loss due to DDoS nearly doubled this year, emphasising the significance of the DDoS threat.”

57% of enterprise and 45% of data centre operators also experienced saturated bandwidth due to DDoS attacks.

Multi-vector DDoS attacks increased 20% since 2016. 59% of service providers and 48% of enterprises experienced these complex attacks, which use a mix of high-volume floods, application-layer attacks and TCP-state exhaustion attacks in a single blow. These increase the attacker’s chance of success and make it more difficult for organisations to defend against them.

88% of service providers use say they use intelligent DDoS mitigation solutions – 36% use automated DDoS mitigation.

Managed service providers are also in hot demand: 38% of enterprises rely on third party and outsources services, a 38% increase since 2016.

2.25 million attacks against APAC 

2,253,265 DDoS attacks hit Asia Pacific organisations last year. The biggest attack reached 622 Gbps and occurred between August 1 and 2. The biggest packets per second (PPS) attack reached 287 Mbps, which occurred at around the same time.

Korea was the source of many DDoS attacks (45.63%), followed by the United States (40.8%), China (32%) and Japan (25.31%).

Australian organisations experienced 131,700 attacks. The largest attack occurred in June and reached 228 Gbps. The largest PPS attack reached 39.9 Mbps in September.

The top four source attack countries include the United States (29.43%), China (25.18%), the United Kingdom (23.05%) and Russia (22.34%).

New Zealand organisations experienced 31,373 DDoS attacks in 2017. One of the biggest attacks occurred between August 2 and 3. It reached 62 Gbps. There were similar spikes between August 5-6 and 7-8, reaching between 50 and 60 Gbps.

The largest PPS attack occurred on August 12, which reached 24 Mbps.

Of the attacks against New Zealand, 85.5% seemed to originate from the United States. 61.35% were from China, 54.99% from Great Britain and 54.92% from the Netherlands.

The challenges for security teams

According to the report, network and security teams face challenges including staff shortages and active threat landscape.

“The results of the WISR survey, together with our ATLAS data, demonstrate why an integrated multi-layer defence from the data centre to the cloud is required,” Anstee concludes.

Additional facts and figures:

  • The top three DDoS attack motivations are online gaming; criminals showing off their attack capabilities; and extortion
  • 57% cited reputation/brand damage as the main business impact, with operational expenses second
  • 56%  experienced a financial impact between $10,000 and $100,000, almost double the proportion from 2016
  • 48% of data centre operators said customer churn was a key concern following a successful attack
  • The survey respondents comprised 55% service providers and 45% in enterprise, government and education.
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