DDoS Attacks Hit All-time High

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The number of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks recorded per quarter by cybersecurity company Kaspersky reached an all-time high in the final three months of 2021.

According to the company’s DDoS attacks in Q4 2021 Report, the total number of DDoS attacks that occurred in Q4 was 4.65 times higher compared with the same period in 2020 and showed an increase of 52% over Q3 2021.

Q4 2021 also saw the emergence of several new DDoS botnets, including a zombie network named Abcbot. 

Most of the DDoS attacks in Q4 were reported in the United States (43.55%), China (9.96%) and Hong Kong (8.8%). Germany suffered 4.85% of the attacks, while France suffered 3.75%.

Alexander Gutnikov, a security expert at Kaspersky, said that while the last three months of any year are generally a peak period for DDoS attacks because of the holidays and their associated online retail sales, 2021’s DDoS attack threat landscape was exceptional. 

“The DDoS threat landscape is constantly changing, reflecting the current economic and social trends,” said Gutnikov.

He added: “We expected the growth of DDoS attacks in Q4 due to the sales season, but the unstable situation in the cryptocurrency market put the DDoS landscape on another level completely with an absolute record in the number of attacks.”

Gutnikov warned companies to take heed of the pattern of DDoS attacks observed in previous years.

“Relying on the trends of previous years, the first quarter of 2022 should not show a significant decrease in DDoS attacks,” he said, “Thus, we urge implementing professional solutions to safeguard your organization against DDoS attacks.” 

Kaspersky researchers observed a link between the cryptocurrency market and the volume of DDoS attacks, namely that the volume of the DDoS market is inversely proportional to the cryptocurrency market. 

“This is due to the capacity for organizing DDoS and cryptocurrency mining being interchangeable as botnet owners tend to redirect the power to mining when the cryptocurrency grows and to DDoS when it falls,” said researchers.

“This is exactly what we observed in the fourth quarter, an increase in the number of DDoS attacks against the backdrop of a sharp drop in the value of cryptocurrencies.”

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