And we’re back again, to talk (again!) about the crushing state of cyber-security in the world — and we now have the numbers to support our word as well. Akamai Technologies, a global CND network has today released a quarterly report highlighting the cloud security landscape, specifically based on data gathered from DDoS and web application attacks. This also includes the notorious bots, that spread malicious code and add to the insecure traffic.
The report titled ‘Second Quarter, 2016 State of the Internet/Security Report’ starts off by stating that –though the attack size is decreasing continuously, but there is still a surge in the total number of attacks on websites and internet apps. As the attack launch tools are becoming increasingly pervasive, the digital businesses are becoming vulnerable to a higher frequency of cyber attacks they can’t defend themselves against on their own.
It states that the total number of distributed denial of service(DDoS) attacks have increased 129 per cent in Q2 2016 as compared to the same period last year. Akamai mentions that it managed to mitigate a total of 4,219 of those attacks. The attack sizes are still humongous, with the largest DDos attack expediting the bandwidth at 363 Gbps, but the median attack size has, however, fallen 36 per cent to 3.85 Gbps. There was also a record 276 per cent increase in NTP reflection attacks.
Out of the total attacks in Q2, twelve exceeded 100 Gbps, while two attacks targetting the media and entertainment industry reached upto 300 Gbps(this would have definitely jammed the network, crashing the servers).
In addition to DDoS attacks, there was also a 14 per cent increase in the number of Web Application attacks in the current quarter as compared to the previous one. This quarter, Brazil –replacing Unites States — was recognized as the top country of origin for most web app. attacks, with a 197 per cent increase in source IPs amounting to a total of 3,378. India, also still maintains its position in the top 10 origin countries for the attacks and accounts for about 2 per cent of the total malicious traffic. There were a reported 347 IP addresses observed during account takeover campaigns.
United States still ranked second among countries that are the source for these web application attacks. The country saw a 13 per cent decrease in attacks this quarter as compared to Q1. SQL Injection and Local File Inclusion have been recognized as the most common attack vectors in the current quarter.
In addition to this, the United States was also the top target of web application attacks at 64%, up from 60% in Q1. This figure is not at all surprising, given that number of companies that have their headquarters and IT infrastructure in the country. Many of the major virtual private server (vps) / hosting providers are based in the U.S. Ten percent of web application attacks targeted Brazil, while only 6% targeted the U.K, followed by India and Canada at 4%
Malicious traffic bots, on the other hand, accounted for 43 per cent of the total web traffic studied by Akamai in 24 hours. It is a 63 per cent increase in bot traffic. Thus, now you can understand the state of cyber-security where one group has been after userdata, and hacks into Twitter/Quora accounts of high-profile individuals, while others want to shut down Pokemon Go by launching a DDoS attack on them. In addition to this, a DDoS-on-hire service vDOS has also been uncovered by cybersecurity researcher Brian Krebs. This service is said to be responsible for over 150,000 booter attacks costing about $600,000 in the past two years.