Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks have skyrocketed and set new records this year, according to Akamai, a US content delivery, cybersecurity, and cloud services company.
In a report published this week, Akamai said it has dealt with the largest to date and more complex than predecessors ransom DDoS (RDDoS) attack this year. Additionally, Akamai reported in February, they saw “three of the six biggest volumetric DDoS attacks” than ever before. Two of these were the largest known ransom DDoS attacks ever, according to the company. The biggest one reached 800Gbps and was also the most complex Akamai dealt with so far.
“Since the start of the [ransom DDoS] campaign, show-of-force attacks have grown from 200+ Gbps in August to 500+ Gbps by mid-September, then ballooned to 800+ Gbps by February 2021,” Akamai said.
According to Akamai, the company saw a new trend in which the attackers used a networking protocol known as the Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP) or protocol 33 as the DDoS attack vector. This allows cybercriminals to launch a volumetric attack and bypass the TCP and UDP traffic flow defenses.
In the report, Akamai noted that the “2021 DDoS campaigns have become more targeted and much more persistent.”
Akamai said the attackers were well-prepared in these attacks, as the company detected multiple campaigns that lasted over several days and targeted a range of IP addresses.
“The attackers were relentlessly looking for weaknesses in defenses to exploit, as well as trying different attack vector combinations.”
According to the company, in one case, the attackers tried nearly a dozen IPs and multiple DDoS attack vectors trying to compromise the back-end environments.
Acamai reported another trend this year in which bad actors increase the number of smaller DDoS attacks that do not go above 50Gbps. While of lesser magnitude, the high number of them can still take many services offline.
The company says, in three months, it saw more attacks of this size than in the entire 2019. Akamai predicts their number would rise significantly this year.