A new report has revealed more than half of cybercriminal attack traffic in the first quarter of 2014 was aimed at the media and entertainment industry.
That's according to the Prolexic Q1 2014 Global DDOS (distributed denial of service) Attack report, which has found cybercriminals are increasingly targeting the media and entertainment industry.
The report shows 54 per cent of malicious packets mitigated by Prolexic during the first quarter were directed at this industry.
Akamai general manager of security, Stuart Scholly, said DDoS attackers relied less upon traditional botnet infection in favor of reflection and amplification techniques, a trend Prolexic has been seeing for some time.
“Instead of using a network of zombie computers, the newer DDoS toolkits abuse Internet protocols that are available on open or vulnerable servers and devices. We believe this approach can lead to the Internet becoming a ready-to-use botnet for malicious actors.”
The report also found a 47 per cent increase in DDOS attacks compared to the previous year.
Prolexic has observed the most abused protocols to be Character Generator (CHARGEN), Network Time Protocol (NTP) and Domain Name System (DNS).
"These protocols, which are all based on the User Datagram Protocol (UDP), may be favoured as they allow attackers to hide their identity," the report said.
"In addition, amplification-based attacks can deliver a massive flood of data at the target while requiring only a relatively small output from the source."
New reflection and amplification attack tools can deliver a powerful punch.
Q1 saw a 39 per cent increase in average bandwidth and the largest-ever DDoS attack to cross the Prolexic DDoS mitigation network.
This attack involved multiple reflection techniques combined with a traditional botnet-based application attack to generate peak traffic of more than 200 Gbps (gigabits per second) and 53.5 Mpps (million packets per second).
The report said innovation in the DDoS [marketplace] had given rise to tools that can create greater damage with fewer resources.
"Q1’s high-volume, infrastructure-based attacks were made possible by the availability of easy-to-use DDoS tools from the DDoS-as-a-service [marketplace]," the report said.
"These tools are designed by malicious hackers to deliver greater power and convenience into the hands of less skillful attackers.