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Financial Services Target of More (But Shorter) DDoS Attacks

A new report from Prolexic Technologies, which offers distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection services, says its Security Engineering and Response Team (PLXsert) team found a nearly three-fold rise in attacks against its financial services clients in Q1 compared to the last quarter of 2012. That’s not all -- it reported a 3000 percent increase (that’s a 30-fold rise) in malicious packet traffic.

Prolexic also said it mitigated more attack traffic this quarter than it did in all of 2011.

According to Neal Quinn, Prolexic’s vice president of operations, “We expect other verticals beyond financial services, gaming and gambling to be on the receiving end of these massive attack volumes as the year progresses.”

The report also found that compared to the same quarter in 2011, the total number of DDoS attacks rose by a quarter as did Layer 7 (application layer) attacks. Attacks were shorter, lasting just 28.5 hours vs. 65 hours.

Compared to the last quarter of 2011, the total number of attacks remained steady, but Layer 7 attacks rose by 6%. Prolexic said that China is still the top source country for attacks, though the U.S. and Russia are rising on that list. The duration dropped (from 34 hours to 28.5 hours, but average attack bandwidth increased from 5.2 Gpbs to 6.1 Gbps.

Attackers still like infrastructure layer attacks that target Layer 3 and Layer 4, and long term, PLXsert sees the gradual move to Layer 7 attacks.

The company also noted that in the last year, “UDP Floods have declined in popularity with SYN Floods emerging as the ‘go-to’ attack type.”

The full report is available for free here (registration required).

-- James E. Powell
Editorial Director, ESJ

Posted by Jim Powell on 04/11/2012 at 11:53 AM