DDoS attacks surge in Q4, says Akamai

Gaming companies were targeted the most. Hackers keep hammering away waiting for enterprise defenses to slip.

Distributed denial of service attacks are accelerating with many incidents repeating, according to Akamai.

These attacks, DDoS for short, involve multiple compromised systems that are used to target a single system.

Akamai said the number of DDoS attacks were up 40 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the third. Akamai's data comes from its fourth quarter State of the Internet Security report, which was released as the RSA security conference kicked off in San Francisco.

In addition, repeat DDoS attacks were the norm and there were 24 attacks per targeted customer on average. Akamai said three targets were subject to more than 100 attacks each with one customer hit with 188 attacks.


Akamai said that it mitigated more than 3,600 DDoS attacks in the fourth quarter, more than twice the number from a year ago.

The big takeaway is that DDoS attacks aren't going away and hackers are constantly hitting systems to see if defenses slip. Of the fourth quarter DDoS attacks, 54 percent were aimed at gaming companies with 23 percent targeting software and technology firms.

Separately, Akamai updated its Kona Site Defender service with automated DDoS mitigation, updates to thwart the latest threats, faster rule propagation, improved analytics and access to security experts.