Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have seen a four-fold, year-over-year increase in both size and volume, according to a report from cloud services provider Akamai.
The company, which releases quarterly reports on global threats, claimed that in the third quarter alone, it had to mitigate 17 attacks greater than 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) with the largest measured at 321Gbps.
“DDoS attack size and volume have gone through the roof this year,” said John Summers, vice president of the security business unit at Akamai. Summers added that Akamai didn’t witness any attacks bigger than 100Gbps in the same quarter in 2013, but it did experience six in the second quarter of 2014.
Overall, there was a 22 per cent increase in total DDoS attacks and a 366 per cent increase in average peak packets per second in the third quarter of 2014, compared to the same quarter a year earlier.
According to Akamai, the attack campaigns marked an 80 per cent increase in average peak bandwidth in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter – and a four-fold increase from the same period a year ago.
It said that more sophisticated, multi-vector attacks had “become the norm”, with more than half (53 per cent) using multiple attack vectors.
Akamai attributes the increase in multi-vector attacks to increased availability of attack toolkits with easy-to-use interfaces, enabling more, but less sophisticated people to launch attacks, as well as a growing DDoS-for-hire criminal industry.
Meanwhile, larger DDoS attacks have come to fruition as a result of the use of a wider base of compromised devices, including smartphones, customer-premises equipment, home cable and DSL modems, tablets and even wearable technologies that have helped to expand DDoS botnets, the report claimed.
Aside from DDoS attacks, the Akamai PLXsert Q3 2014 State of the Internet Security Report found that phishing attacks were also prominent.