Key metrics from the 1H 2021 Netscout Threat Intelligence Report
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The massive shift to online life triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic prompted record-breaking levels of innovation by threat actors, and NETSCOUT’s ATLAS Security Engineering and Response Team (ASERT) expects this long tail of attacker innovation to last well into 2021.

Bad actors launched approximately 5.4 million DDoS attacks in 1H 2021—yet another record-breaking number. In particular, attackers launched unprecedented numbers of DDoS attacks in the first quarter, boosting attack frequency by 20 percent over the same time period in 2020. Meanwhile, adversaries discovered or weaponized seven UDP reflection/amplification DDoS attack vectors and developed adaptive multivector attacks specifically tailored to exploit vulnerabilities of their targets. Vital components of the connectivity supply chain came under increased attack, while ransomware gangs added triple-extortion DDoS tactics to their repertoire and the Fancy Lazarus threat actor launched a new DDoS extortion campaign.

Max Multivector Attack

Max number of vectors seen in a single attack

20

Attack Vectors Used

1. BitTorrent amplification
2. CLDAP amplification
3. DNS
4. DNS amplification
5. ICMP
6. L2TP amplification
7. MDNS amplification
8. Memcached amplification
9. MSSQLRS amplification
10. NetBIOS amplification
11. NTP amplification
12. RIPv1 amplification
13. SNMP amplification
14. SSDP amplification
15. STUN amplification
16. TCP ACK
17. TCP NULL
18. TCP RST
19. TCP SYN
20. TCP SYN/ACK amplification

Top 5 Attack Vectors

Ta

TCP ACK

Number of Attacks

23,113

Ts

TCP SYN

Number of Attacks

4,141

Im

ICMP

Number of Attacks

4,137

Tr

TCP RST

Number of Attacks

3,804

Dn

DNS amp

Number of Attacks

3,562

Top Eight Vertical Industries Under Attack

The following industry chart shows the most targeted sectors in 1H 2021 by number of attacks.

Rank Vertical Frequency Max Attack Max Impact Average Duration
1
Wired Telecommunications Resellers icon Wired Telecommunications Carriers
1,358 73.54 Gbps 15.88 Mpps 65.6 Minutes
2
cell phone icon Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite)
1,185 15.64 Gbps 33.30 Mpps 29.0 Minutes
3
cloud icon with up arrow Data Processing, Hosting + Related Services
89 1.10 Gbps 1.26 Mpps 236.7 Minutes
4
radio icon Internet Publishing, Broadcasting + Web Search Portals
14 0.02 Gbps 0.00 Mpps 48.5 Minutes
5
Telecomm Tower icon All Other Telecommunications
3 0.01 Gbps 0.00 Mpps 93.7 Minutes
6
Document with PDF icon Software Publishers
2 0.02 Gbps 0.00 Mpps 29.5 Minutes
7
educational building icon Colleges, Universities + Professional Schools
1 0.07 Gbps 0.01 Mpps 11.0 Minutes
8
two coin piles in circle icon Securities + Commodity Exchanges
1 0.01 Gbps 0.00 Mpps 70.0 Minutes
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