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The number of distributed denial-of-service attacks on websites in the final quarter of 2014 was up 90 percent on the previous quarter, according to research from Akamai Technologies.
The final quarter of 2014 saw a sharp increase on the third quarter, chiefly influenced by the 121 percent increase in infrastructure layer attacks. In the same period, application layer attacks rose just 16 percent.
The most high-profile of the attacks in the period were the Christmas DDoS strikes that took down both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on what should have been amongst their busiest times, by infamous hacking collective Lizard Squad. Indeed, Computer World notes that gaming companies were hit particularly hard by DDoS attacks in quarter four, accounting for 35.33 percent of all hits in the period. Software and technology companies were the next most attacked (26.58 percent), followed by internet at telecom providers (10.93 percent).
The State of the Internet Security Report, published annually by Cloud services provider Akamai Technologies, also provided some interesting stats against the same period in 2013, including a 57 percent rise in DDoS from the previous year’s final quarter, and a 28 percent increase in the average length of each attack. This was matched by a 52 percent increase in average peak bandwidth, though the average peak packets per second saw a steep dip, down 77 percent from the previous year’s fourth quarter.
John Summers, vice president of the Cloud Security Business Unit at Akamai said, “An incredible number of DDoS attacks occurred in the fourth quarter, almost double what we observed in Q4 a year ago.”
“Denial of service is a common and active threat to a wide range of enterprises. The DDoS attack traffic was not limited to a single industry, such as online entertainment that made headlines in December. Instead, attacks were spread among a wide variety of industries,” he added.
Author Alan Martin, ESET