China Launches Most DDoS Attacks, Report Says

China remains the top source country for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, according to Prolexic Technologies Quarterly Global DDoS Attack Report.

The newly released report indicates that the first quarter of 2012 (Q1 2012) was characterised by extremely high volumes of malicious traffic directed at Prolexic's financial services clients.

Compared to Q1 2011, the first quarter of 2012 experienced a 25 percent increase in total number of DDoS attacks; 25 percent increase in Layer 7 (application layer) attacks; and shorter attack duration: 28.5 hours versus 65 hours.

The Prolexic Security Engineering & Response Team (PLXsert) team also mitigated more attack traffic this quarter than it did in all of 2011.

"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," said Neal Quinn, Prolexic's vice president of operations.

Drop in attack duration

Quarterly Global DDoS Attack Report also shows that average attack durations continued to edge down in Q1 2012, dropping from 34 hours in Q4 to 28.5 hours this quarter.

While more than 168 trillion bits of data and 14 billion packets of malicious traffic were identified as targeting financial services clients during Q4 2011, 5.7 quadrillion bits of data and 1.1 trillion malicious packets were identified and successfully mitigated during Q1 2012.

"The expertise of Prolexic's Security Operations Center staff and the unrivalled capacity of our cloud-based mitigation platform minimised the impact of these large attacks against their targets," said Quinn.

Compared to Q4 2011, the total number of attacks was virtually unchanged during the first quarter of 2012.

This quarter also experienced a six percent rise in Layer 7 attacks and saw the U.S. and Russia both move up in the rankings as the top source countries for DDoS attacks.

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