November 30, 2023
The modern state of DDoS and why it's still relevant
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are a common type of cyber threat that can cause significant damage to businesses of all sizes. These attacks are designed to disrupt or disable a target website or online service by flooding it with traffic and rendering it inaccessible to legitimate users.
DDoS is still relevant today, as cyber criminals use them for a variety of reasons, including extortion, revenge and political activism. They are typically carried out using a botnet, which is a network of compromised computers. These botnets are controlled by the attackers, who send a flood of traffic from multiple sources to the target website or service, making it difficult to block.
Recent statistics from South Africa show that DDoS attacks are a growing problem. According to a Digital Attack Map report, South Africa experienced the most DDoS attacks in Africa, with several of them exceeding 100 Gbps in intensity. The largest attack sent 71 million requests per second! Financial services, healthcare and e-commerce are among the industries most affected by DDoS incidents in the country.
Current trends with DDoS attacks
As with any digital sector, cyber security is rapidly evolving and DDoS attacks are shifting in nature. DNS-based attacks, which target the domain name system (DNS) infrastructure that converts domain names into IP addresses, are a current trend in DDoS incidents, comprising about 33% of attack vectors.
These threats can render websites inaccessible to users, causing business operations to suffer. Successful incidents of DNS-based attacks commonly send malicious traffic through reputable DNS servers to appear legitimate. This makes it difficult for IT administrators to detect and block these threats.
Another trend is SYNflood attacks, which saturate a target system's resources by exploiting vulnerabilities in the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). In Africa, SYNflood attacks account for 38% of DDoS incidents.
Similarly, botnet DNA attacks are also on the rise, with attackers modifying the source code of existing botnets to increase their capacity and avoid detection. These threats are targeting virtualised resources and can have up to 5000 times more capacity than regular threats. Essentially, this means that botnet DNA attacks can generate higher volumes of traffic with a smaller fleet size.
How to mitigate DDoS incidents
Businesses can take several steps to protect themselves from DDoS attacks, including investing in a DDoS protection service. SEACOM's DDoS Protect is an effective solution that can detect and mitigate DDoS attacks autonomously before they disrupt an enterprise IT system.
In recent years, there have been several high-profile DDoS attacks in South Africa. A leading South African bank experienced a DDoS attack in 2020, which disrupted its online banking services. In the same year, a major telecommunications company was targeted by a DDoS attack, causing widespread disruption.
These incidents highlight the growing threat of DDoS attacks to South African enterprises and the need for robust DDoS protection measures. These incidents continue to pose a significant risk to companies in South Africa and around the world. Businesses should invest in a dependable DDoS protection service to protect their IT systems.
They should also be aware of current DDoS attack trends and take steps to mitigate them. Businesses can ensure continuous access to their online services, maintain customer trust and avoid costly downtime and reputational damage by doing so. For more information about our cyber security services or to get a quote, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a message.
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