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DDoS of Past, Present and Future

The pervasiveness of technology has meant automation of tasks, allowing better productivity, with more time to do more. However, the dark side of technology would be that enterprises and individuals alike are vulnerable to cybercrimes, compromise of identities, loss of data and subject to malicious attacks.

In our recent 'State of the Internet / Security Q4 2016 report', we reported that Akamai mitigated 3,826 distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack events on our Prolexic network, a 4% increase in attacks since Q4 2015.

The report also showcased the DDoS attacks, Q4 2016 vs. Q4 2015.

  • There was a 4% increase in total DDoS attacks
  • 6% increase in infrastructure layer (layers 3 & 4) attacks
  • 22% increase in reflection-based attacks
  • 140% increase in attacks greater than 100 Gbps: 12 vs. 5

The year 2016, by far has been the hallmark year for DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.  While the attacks have taken the cyber world by storm, the unprecedented use of botnets like Mirai that turn devices into bots for performing these DDoS attacks is a very real and imminent threat to Internet of Things (IoT). The risk of attacks and vulnerability with connected devices is going to be far larger than first perceived. The number of "unsecured" IoT devices are easily compromised especially IoT devices such as video recorders (DVRs), surveillance cameras, home networking equipment and other Internet-enabled embedded devices.

As per Akamai's report - The Mirai botnet continued as one of the largest threats in the fourth quarter, not the only IoT - based botnet. At least two other major IoT-based botnets are in use. They may be variants of Mirai or new, unrelated botnets. In any case, IoT continues to provide resources to fuel future DDoS attacks.

Here are Top 5 Source Countries for DDoS Attacks, Q1-Q4 2016:

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Web Application Attack Source Countries - Asia Pacific, Q4 2016:

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We believe seven of the 12 mega attacks this quarter, those with traffic greater than 100 Gbps, can be directly attributed to Mirai. At least 37 of the attacks this quarter came from Mirai. The rapid proliferation of devices will provide an expanding pool of attack resources, fueled by the discovery of new vulnerabilities and vulnerable systems.

There is an urgent need to address IoT related vulnerabilities, especially:

  • A high need for IoT security
  • High standards that needed to be set and adhered to in IoT devices
  • Best Standards Practice to be put in place at the manufacturer and ISP levels 

To know more about Akamai's recommendations for IoT Vendors and IoT users and to know more about the typical DDOS mitigation techniques, you may listen to the on-demand version of the DDOS of Past, Present and Future webinar here.

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Q4 2016 State of the Internet / Security Report and Executive brief can be found here.

For further details go to - www.akamai.com/soti to download the latest Connectivity and Security reports.