Major DDoS attacks increased 967% this year

DDoS attacks sized 100Gbps and higher exploded in Q1 2019, with 77% of all attacks targeting two or more vectors.

How to stem the rising tide of massive DDoS attacks ZDNet's Steve Ranger explains why DDoS attacks are increasing in frequency and power.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are increasing in size and frequency, as multi-vector exploits become more of the norm in hacker's efforts to distract and confuse security teams, while damaging their businesses, according to a Wednesday report from Neustar.

Attacks sized 100Gbps and higher increased by 967% in Q1 2019 compared to Q1 2018, the report found. The largest attack measured—587Gbps—was more than 70% larger than the biggest attack in the same period in 2018 (345Gbps).

SEE: Phishing attacks: A guide for IT pros (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

While the largest DDoS attacks experienced the most growth, smaller attacks also increased exponentially, according to the report. Attacks under 5Gbps increased by 257% in the last year.

This year's attacks use a variety of ports and protocols to locate and exploit vulnerabilities, and change their form over the course of the attack, the report noted. More than three-quarters (77%) of attacks in Q1 2019 targeted two or more vectors, and 51% targeted three or more, the report found.

Targeted subnets and classless inter-domain routing (CIDR) blocks to slow or stop network traffic was one highly disruptive DDoS threat, according to the report.

While a number of tools on the market can help businesses ward off these attacks, none can replace the effectiveness of having cybersecurity professionals on staff, the report noted.

"Today's artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies enable us to identify anomalous traffic and patterns, correlate data across systems, and perform behavioral analytics on users and entities, said Rodney Joffe, Neustar Senior Vice President, Technologist and Fellow. "But none of these systems function without professionals who know how to deploy them, interpret their data, identify the existence and location of problems, and mitigate them."

For more, check out Here are some best practices for preventing DDoS attacks on our sister site ZDNet.

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Image: iStockphoto/Igor Stevanovic

By Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.