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The report found that global events such as the Russia-Ukraine war and NATO bids have driven recent DDoS attack growth. Finland was targeted by pro-Russian hacktivists in 2022 during its bid to join NATO, while Turkey and Hungary were targeted with DDoS attacks for opposing Finland's bid. In 2023, Sweden experienced a similar onslaught around its NATO bid, culminating with a 500 Gbps DDoS attack in May.
The report also revealed that during 2H2022, NETSCOUT documented a trend in DDoS attacks against wireless telecommunications providers that incurred a 79% increase globally. This trend continued among APAC wireless providers in 1H2023 with a 294% increase, which correlates to many broadband gaming users shifting their activity to 5G fixed wireless access as providers roll out their networks.
NETSCOUT's insights into the threat landscape come from its ATLAS sensor network built over decades of working with hundreds of Internet Service Providers globally, gleaning trends from an average of 424 Tbps of internet peering traffic, an increase of 5.7% over 2022. The company has observed nearly 500% growth in HTTP/S application layer attacks since 2019 and 17% growth in DNS reflection/amplification volumes during the first half of 2023.
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According to Richard Hummel, senior threat intelligence lead at NETSCOUT: "While world events and 5G network expansion have driven an increase in DDoS attacks, adversaries continue to evolve their approach to be more dynamic by taking advantage of bespoke infrastructure such as bulletproof hosts or proxy networks to launch attacks."
Other key findings from the NETSCOUT 1H2023 DDoS Threat Intelligence Report include: Carpet-Bombing Attacks Rise; DNS Water-Torture Attacks Become Commonplace; Higher Education and Governments Disproportionately Attacked; and DDoS Sources Are Persistent.
Carpet-bombing attacks rose 55%, with more than 724 daily incidents reported - which NETSCOUT believes is a conservative estimate - while DNS water torture attacks rose 353%. Higher education and government sectors were disproportionately attacked by adversaries creating or using abusable infrastructure as platforms for launching attacks. Meanwhile, persistent nodes were involved in a disproportionate number of DDoS attacks with an average IP address churn rate of only 10%.
For more information on NETSCOUT's semi-annual DDoS Threat Intelligence Report or real-time DDoS attack stats, map and insights visit NETSCOUT Cyber Threat Horizon or follow them on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
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