Massive DDoS attacks lasting more than an hour increased 487% in 2019

After decreasing in 2018, the number of DDoS attacks jumped up in Q1 2019, according to Kaspersky Lab. Here's how to stay safe.

How to stem the rising tide of massive DDoS attacks

After declining throughout 2018, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are back with a vengeance, according to a Tuesday report from Kaspersky Lab. In Q1 2019 alone, DDoS attacks increased 84%, with major growth in the number of attacks lasting more than an hour, as well as in the average duration of such attacks, the report found.

Previous research from Neustar also found that DDoS attacks have been increasing in size and frequency in 2019. That report found that 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).

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The declines seen in 2018 led Kaspersky Lab researchers to believe that cybercriminals who had been conducting DDoS attacks for financial gain had focused their attention on other income sources, such as cryptomining. However, recent declines in cryptomining activity likely led to the increase in DDoS once again.

The largest area of growth was found in the number of DDoS attacks lasting for more than an hour, the report found. These attacks doubled in quantity, and their average length increased by 487%. This suggests that hackers are evolving their techniques, and are now able to launch longer, more organized attacks, the report noted.

"The DDoS attack market is changing, and new DDoS services appear to have replaced ones shut down by law enforcement agencies," said Alexey Kiselev, business development manager on the Kaspersky DDoS Protection team. "As organizations implement basic countermeasures, attackers target them with long-lasting attacks. It is difficult to say if the number of attacks will continue to grow, but their complexity is showing no signs of slowing down. We recommend that organizations prepare themselves effectively, in order to withstand sophisticated DDoS attacks."

To improve security measures and avoid DDoS attacks, organizations should ensure that web and IT resources can handle high volumes of traffic, and find solutions that can mitigate such attacks, the report recommended.

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

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Image: iStockphoto/Vladimir_Timofeev