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Key Metrics from the 2H 2020 NETSCOUT Threat Intelligence Report

As the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a massive shift in internet usage, cybercriminals quickly pounced, launching more than 10 million DDoS attacks aimed at crippling the very online services essential to remote work and online life. Vital pandemic industries such as ecommerce, streaming services, online learning, and healthcare all experienced increased attention from malicious actors, including those behind the Lazarus Bear Armada campaign of DDoS extortion attacks that hit thousands of companies worldwide. As the COVID-19 pandemic extends into 2021, we can logically expect to see threat actors targeting vulnerabilities exposed by the global crisis as well as discovering and using new attack vectors that poke at the weak spots of our new normal.

Impact Analysis

This was a record-breaking year for DDoS attacks—and that has to have an impact on global infrastructure, since DDoS attackers don’t pay for transit costs. Instead, that cost is generally passed down to everyone who uses the internet. So we continued to dig into the details of how much traffic on the global internet is due solely to DDoS attacks by calculating the DDoS Attack Coefficient (DAC). This measurement illustrates the continual presence of DDoS traffic across all regions. In essence, it shows the “DDoS tax” that we all end up paying.

Bandwidth Impact Percentage Change

July 39.9 Mpps, August 14.7 Mpps, September 34.2 Mpps, October 34.7 Mpps, November 31.4 Mpps, December 26.7 Mpps

Throughput Impact Percentage Change

July 38.3 Gbps, August 57.4 Gbps, September 42.8 Gbps, October 43.1 Gbps, November 139.4 Gbps, December 97.6 Gbps

Top Five Vertical Industries Under Attack

The following industry chart shows the most targeted sectors in 2020 by number of attacks.

Rank Vertical Frequency Max Attack Max Impact Average Duration
Wired Telecommunications Resellers icon Wired Telecommunications Carriers
3,780 38.7 Gbps 5.9 Mpps 40.9 Minutes
cell phone icon Wireless Telecommunications Carriers
2,174 30.5 Gbps 34.4 Mpps 66.7 Minutes
cloud icon with up arrow Data Processing, Hosting + Related Services
890 1.9 Gbps 0.8 Mpps 246.0 Minutes
educational building icon Colleges, Universities + Professional Schools
45 0.4 Gbps 0.03 Mpps 36.6 Minutes
Telecomm Tower icon Other Telecommunications
16 0.05 Gbps 0.01 Mpps 38.5 Minutes


Top Five Username + Password Combinations

root/xc3511 - 1539; admin/admin - 1436; root/vizxv - 1360; root/root - 1034; guest/12345 - 876

Top Exploits

Exploit Name EDB-ID
/ctrlt/DeviceUpgrade_1 Huawei Router 45991
/picsdesc.xml Realtex SDK — Miniigd UPnP SOAP 37169
/ws/v1/cluster/apps Hadoop YARN ResourceManager 45025
/GponForm/diag_Form Dasan GPON home routers -----
/setup.cgi Netgear Remote Code Execution 43055
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