- Malicious actors switch tactics to build, deploy and conceal powerful botnets
- 241 per cent increase in average peak bandwidth in Q2 2014 vs. Q2 2013
Akamai Technologies, Inc, the leading provider of cloud services for delivering, optimising and securing online content and business applications, has announced availability of the Prolexic Q2 2014 Global DDoS Attack Report. Prolexic Technologies, now part of Akamai, is a recognised leader in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection services, and has produced the quarterly Global DDoS Attack Report since 2011. The report, which provides analysis and insight into the global DDoS threat landscape, can be downloaded at www.prolexic.com/attackreports.
“DDoS attacks have continued in high numbers and with high average and peak bandwidths. They can take out an entire data centre by overwhelming network bandwidth,” said Stuart Scholly, senior vice president and general manager of Security at Akamai Technologies. “Behind these powerful attacks are changing tactics to build, deploy and conceal powerful botnets. Server-side botnets are preying on web vulnerabilities and reflection and amplification tactics are allowing attackers to do more with less.”
When building server-side botnets, attackers have been targeting Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors with server instances running software with known vulnerabilities, such as versions of the Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) stack and Microsoft Windows server operating systems. They have also targeted vulnerable versions of common web Content Management Systems (CMS) such as WordPress and Joomla or their plugins.
While the use of server-based botnets has increased, the itsoknoproblembro (Brobot) botnet, also based on server infection, has remained a threat. Attacks in the second quarter of 2014 provided indications that the botnet is still in place from its earlier use in the Operation Ababil attacks against financial institutions in 2011-2013. Once thought to have been cleaned up, it appears the botnet has been surreptitiously maintained.
Reflection and amplification attacks were more popular in the second quarter of 2014 as compared to the same period in 2013, representing more than 15 per cent of all infrastructure attacks. These attacks take advantage of the functionality of common Internet protocols and misconfigured servers. While the use of NTP reflection attacks was down significantly in the second quarter of 2014, likely due to community cleanup work, SNMP reflector attacks surged during the quarter, filling the void.
Highlights from Prolexic’s Q2 2014 Global DDoS Attack Report:
Compared to the second quarter of 2013
- 22 per cent increase in total DDoS attacks
- 72 per cent increase in average attack bandwidth
- 46 per cent increase in infrastructure (Layer 3 and 4) attacks
- 54 per cent decrease in average attack duration: 38 vs. 17 hours
- 241 per cent increase in average peak bandwidth
Compared to the first quarter of 2014
- 0.2 per cent decrease in total DDoS attacks
- 14 per cent decrease in average attack bandwidth
- 15 per cent decrease in application (Layer 7) attacks
- 0.2 per cent decrease in average attack duration: 17.38 vs. 17.35 hours
- 36 per cent decrease in average peak bandwidth
Analysis and emerging trends
Attacks involving server-side botnets have only been observed by Akamai in the most sophisticated and carefully orchestrated DDoS campaigns. Their high-volume infrastructure attacks have had signatures that appear to be specially crafted to avoid detection by DDoS mitigation technology. Because of the effectiveness of these attacks, and the widespread availability of vulnerable cloud-based software, they are likely to continue and may be monetised in the underground DDoS marketplace. They potentially pose a significant danger to businesses, governments and other organisations.
These DDoS trends and more are discussed in detail in Prolexic’s Q2 2014 Global DDoS Attack Report. A complimentary copy is available as a free PDF download at www.prolexic.com/attackreports.
Akamai and Prolexic DDoS attack reports to be merged
Akamai completed its acquisition of Prolexic in February 2014. Prolexic’s Global DDoS Attack Report and Akamai’s State of the Internet Report both cover DDoS attacks and related trends and statistics. In the coming quarters, we expect to consolidate these publications with the goal of publishing a combined report that delivers an unparalleled level of insight into the Internet threat landscape. Follow @akamai_soti on Twitter for more information.
Akamai® is the leading provider of cloud services for delivering, optimising and securing online content and business applications. At the core of the Company’s solutions is the Akamai Intelligent Platform™ providing extensive reach, coupled with first class reliability, security, visibility and expertise. Akamai removes the complexities of connecting the increasingly mobile world, supporting 24/7 consumer demand, and enabling enterprises to securely leverage the cloud. To learn more about how Akamai is accelerating the pace of innovation in a hyperconnected world, please visit www.akamai.com or blogs.akamai.com, and follow @Akamai on Twitter.