Cyber attackers targeted industries providing connectivity, services and entertainment to populations forced to shelter-in-place, according to the latest Nexusguard’s Annual Threat Report 2020. This resulted in a 341% year-over-year increase in DDoS attacks during the pandemic. The massive shift in online behavior and reliance on connectivity strained communications service providers (CSPs) and internet service providers (ISPs) that provided the backbone for this remote work, including spikes in ransom DDoS (RDDoS) attacks to extort organizations for payment in exchange for staying online.
With lockdown and social distancing measures enforced across the world, 2020 saw an explosion in online gaming and dependence on the internet, which were attractive targets for attackers. Motivations for the attacks ranged from financial gains, political and economic benefits, revenge, cyberwarfare to even personal enjoyment. Nexusguard analysts predict that RDDoS attacks will increase 30% in the upcoming year, especially given the popularity of cryptocurrencies. Additionally, smaller attacks (less than 10 Gbps in size) will account for 99% of all DDoS attacks in the near future, since they will continue to be difficult to detect and economical to deploy.
“During 2020, the pandemic forced a complete shift in how the world lived and worked, and attackers were ready to take full advantage of the situation, adeptly targeting connectivity and entertainment providers,” said Juniman Kasman, chief technology officer for Nexusguard. “With attackers using stealthier, smaller attacks increasing in complexity, CSPs and enterprises will need deep learning, multidimensional DDoS detection and other advanced techniques to avoid outages.”
According to Nexusguard’s research, CSPs—especially ISPs—continue to be impacted by stealthy bit-and-piece attacks, which drip-feed junk traffic across a large IP pool. In 2020, 301 of these CSPs were hit by bit-and-piece attacks across 23 countries. Nexusguard researchers caution that CSPs and other organizations that rely on threshold and signature-based detection methods will experience severe outages from newer, evasive DDoS attacks. To help CSPs quickly launch anti-DDoS capabilities to protect customers, Nexusguard recently launched the TAP100 Program, which removes hardware barriers associated with typical anti-DDoS service ramp-up, allowing CSP product teams and C-suites to capture new revenue opportunities and ensure superior customer service.
Nexusguard’s DDoS threat research reports on attack data from botnet scanning, honeypots, CSPs and traffic moving between attackers and their targets. This is done to help companies identify vulnerabilities and stay informed about global cyber security trends. Read the full Nexusguard Annual Threat Report 2020.