You can say lots of things about 2020, with one of them being that people are using the internet more than ever. Cyber-criminals have responded to this increased internet usage by increasing their efforts with DDoS attacks. DDoS attacks in 2020 have been shorter and smaller but no less of a nuisance to companies.
Many 2020 DDoS attacks have targeted the network layer of the OSI model. This is the network-to-network connection where packets of data are sent between computers according to specific protocols. For the target, this means attackers send vast quantities of junk network traffic to a server. These requests slow down the target server and render them inaccessible, preventing legitimate users from connecting to websites and online services.
Here are some of the recent DDoS attacks trends for 2020;
1. Plenty of Small and Short Attacks
Launching a DDoS attack has never been easier, with many hackers offering their services for a dollar a minute. Anyone can take down a network with a small and straightforward DDoS attack. With the barrier to entry getting lower each day, more people are getting in on the action and start attacks.
The small and simple approach to DDoS has taken off this year, with most attacks reported by Cloudflare to be under 10 Gbps. Two-thirds of DDoS attacks in Q1 2020 were under 500Mbps. Around 13.5% of the DDoS attacks recorded up to March were generated with free publicly available Mirai variations.
These attacks may be small, but they still pack a devastating punch for under-protected systems and properties. These attacks allow criminals to quickly bring down a server and demand a ransom payment to stop the attack and allow a business to resume.
2.More Variety but Less Persistence
While there are more smaller attacks, attack persistence for DDoS attacks appears to be on the downswing. For example, attackers launched up to 523 DDoS attacks against a single IP in one day during the fourth quarter of last year. By comparison, there are more attacks than ever before, but the average persistence rate has dropped to just 2.2 attacks per IP per day. The most potent attack of 2020 saw 311 attacks on one IP.
The new numbers represent a 40% drop in attack persistence over 2019. Attackers may be getting too lazy to keep attacks going, but it’s more likely that the increase in small attacks has diluted the average persistence rate.
3.Bringing in the Big Guns
Despite the increase in smaller attacks, there are still plenty of significant attacks to worry about. The scope and volume of DDoS attacks increased dramatically in March 2020. The second half of the month saw 55% more DDoS attacks than the first half. Nearly all DDoS attacks in March (94%) were over 300Mbps.
Other data shows the maximum length for DDoS attacks increased up to 264% for Q1 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. This data is alarming, given that DDoS attacks can cost businesses up to $40,000 per hour.