They happen to achieve political objectives. They happen to extort ransom. They happen as a decoy while cyberthieves steal money and personal information. And, they’re happening more and more — Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS).
One security firm’s study cited by Dan Kaplan, Executive Editor of scmagazine.com states, “In the first quarter of 2013, DDoS attacks on average measured 1.77 gigabytes per second (GB/sec), a 19.5 percent climb over the first quarter of last year, while the portion of attacks ranging from 2 to 10 GB/sec grew from 15 percent to 21.5 percent.”
What’s worse is there’s been a sharp increase in the number of higher-than 10 GB/sec attacks; a 74 percent jump from all of 2012. This increase is attributed to hackers using compromised Web server botnets as opposed to individual PCs with their much lower bandwidth.
Kaplan notes that, “Aside from the volumetric-style attacks that use traditional means for attacking sites, application-layer attacks, which leverage encrypted traffic, are becoming more common because they are more difficult to deter.”
The outlook doesn’t look particularly bright for the foreseeable future because firewalls and other intrusion prevention systems are unable to stop DDoS attacks. In fact, Kaplan writes, “A recent study found that the market for DDoS mitigation solutions is projected to grow 18.2 percent between 2012 and 2017, hitting $870 million in spending.”