DDoS Attack Trends to Watch In 2020

Posted DateDecember 17, 2019
Posted Time 3   min Read

What we have observed in the last few years is that DDoS attacks are definitely not a rare occurrence; they are much more common and lethal than you can imagine. With the rapid advent of technology and internet speeds and usage, the number, intensity, lethality, and sophistication of DDoS attacks only seem to be spiraling upwards.

In the article, we will look at some key statistics and trends from 2019 and the trends to watch in 2020 with respect to DDoS attacks.

5 DDOS Attack Trends to Watch in 2020

1. The sharp rise in number, scale, and severity of the impact of DDoS attacks

In the past 2 years, the incidence of DDoS attacks has risen by 20% and the scale and severity of their impact have risen by nearly 200%. The cumulative DDoS attacks in 2019 so far have exceeded the total number of attacks in 2018.

In July 2019, an entertainment streaming service faced a massive Layer 7 DDoS attack led by a botnet (similar to the tried and tested method involving the Mirai botnet) coordinating 402,000 different IPs of mainly home routers that lasted 13 days and had a peak flow of 292,000 RPS (Requests Per Second). This was one of the biggest Layer 7/ Application Layer attacks that the world has seen in terms of the scale (Even though volumetric attacks are much larger in size and scale, this is the largest Layer 7 attack so far). The streaming service did not suffer much of downtime owing to the DDoS mitigation solution in place.

2. Expect more sophisticated and complex DDoS attacks in 2020

The number of application-layer attacks and protocol DDoS attacks are seeing a sharp rise in comparison to volumetric attacks and this trend will continue in 2020. This is not to say that volumetric attacks are not and will not occur; volumetric attacks will continue, and their magnitude will increase further using reflection amplification techniques (such as DNS amplification), but the number of such volume-based attacks may see a drop. The low-intensity, slow, and strategic DDoS attacks will see a further rise in 2020.

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Layer 7 attacks require less bandwidth and botnets can disguise themselves as legitimate traffic to orchestrate the attack which makes these attacks difficult to detect quickly and avert. What is making this attack type more vicious is that attackers are combining multiple vectors to orchestrate these DDoS attacks. 82% of all DDoS attacks reported in 2019 used more than 2 attack vectors. More than half of these multi-vector DDoS attacks combined at 3 attack vectors and a quarter of these combined 4 attack vectors! The number of multi-vector attacks will continue to rise in 2020 and the number of vectors used may increase further.

3. An increasing number of IoT devices are increasing the risk of DDoS attacks

The number of IoT devices (devices connected by the internet such as smartphones, thermostats, baby monitors, TV, refrigerators, etc.) is estimated to around 20.4 billion in 2020 and many of this lack any real IT security (baby monitors, refrigerators, etc.) which makes them vulnerable to being hacked into and leveraged as botnets. The accelerated increase in the number of such IoT devices is creating a larger attack surface for cybercriminals.

4. Instances of politically motivated DDoS attacks are set to increase

Year after year we are observing the number of politically driven DDoS attacks is increasing. The number of such attacks will see a surge in 2020. In fact, DDoS attacks are being leveraged as a major weapon in the state-sponsored cyberwarfare arsenal to disrupt critical services, intercept secret programs, etc.

5. 5G will fuel Botnet-driven DDoS attacks in 2020

As the world prepares to usher in the faster speeds and bandwidth capabilities to mobile devices in 2020 with 5G internet, it cannot be ignored that these very capabilities of 5G-enabled mobile devices can be leveraged by cybercriminals to orchestrate massive DDoS attacks. Even a small number of such high capability devices will suffice to unleash major damage.

In the face of increasing number, scale, severity, complexity, and sophistication of DDoS attacks in 2020, only organizations with robust DDoS attack mitigation solutions in place will be able to survive these attacks. Intelligent, managed DDoS protection solutions like AppTrana will enable you to proactively mitigate these increasingly sophisticated attacks and ensure that your website/ web application is always available through end-to-end and instantaneous defense against all types of DDoS attacks and real-time visibility into your security posture.

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