Arbor Networks, Google draw digital-attack map

Distributed Denial of Service attacks are increasing by leaps and bounds. Arbor Networks and Google make it possible for you to see just how bad it is.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

How bad are Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks getting on the Internet? Arbor Networks, which specializes in DDoS defense and mitigation, has found that so far in 2013 the average DDoS attack now stands at 2.64Gbps, up 78 percent from 2012. Now, in concert with Google Ideas, a Google think tank, the two have created a global, data visualization map of DDoS attacks: the Digital Attack Map.

Digital Attack Map
DDoS attacks are happening every second of every day.

It's not Arbor arguing in its own interest that DDoS attacks have been on the rise. Prolexic Technologies, another DDoS defense firm, has declared that "the total number of attacks against its clients in Q3 2013 … represented the highest total for one quarter" to date. A neutral news site BankInfo Security, has reported that there has been one DDoS attack after another on US financial institutions this year.

When Arbor first began working with network operators in 2000, flood attacks were in the 400Megabit per sec (Mbps) range. Today, they see often see attacks that exceed 100Gbps. It's not just the sheer size of the attacks that's changed. Beginning in 2010, and driven by the rise of hacktivism, Arbor observed a renaissance in DDoS attacks that has led to new tools, targets and techniques. Today, DDoS attacks mix flood, application and infrastructure attacks into a single, blended attack.

According to Arbor, "The Digital Attack Map utilizes anonymous traffic data from our ATLAS threat monitoring system to create a data visualization that allows users to explore historical trends in DDoS attacks, and to make the connection to related news events on any given day. The data is updated daily, and historical data can be viewed for all geographies. This collaboration brings life to the ATLAS data we leverage every day to uncover new attack trends and techniques, sharing it in a visual way that connects the dots between current events and cyberattacks taking place all over the world."

Clicking on the map gives details on the kinds of attacks, their traffic volume, what network ports are being used, and which country is attacking and which is (are) being attacked. While it's not enough detail to help if you're being attacked, it does give you a snapshot view of Internet traffic attacks. I find it sufficiently useful that I've added it to my Internet trouble bookmark list along with such sites as Down for Everyone or Just Me, Down Right Now, and the Internet Traffic Report.

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