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

22

Attack Vectors Used

1. Chargen amplification
2. COAP amplification
3. DNS
4. DNS amplification
5. ICMP
6. ISAKMP
7. Jenkins amplification
8. Memcached amplification
9. MSSQLRS amplification
10. NetBIOS amplification
11. NTP amplification
12. RIPv1 amplification
13. Sentinel amplification
14. SIP amplification
15. SNMP amplification
16. SSDP amplification
17. STUN amplification
18. TCP ACK
19. TCP NULL
20. TCP RST
21. TCP SYN
22. TCP SYN/ACK amplification

Top 5 Attack Vectors

Ta

TCP ACK

Number of Attacks

16,705

Dn

DNS amp

Number of Attacks

14,938

Ts

TCP SYN

Number of Attacks

14,066

Tr

TCP RST

Number of Attacks

16,654

Ds

DNS

Number of Attacks

12,483

Top Ten 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
cloud icon with up arrow Data Processing, Hosting + Related Services
20,798 112.28 Gbps 43.39 Mpps 68.2 Minutes
2
Wired Telecommunications Resellers icon Wired Telecommunications Carriers
7,845 112.28 Gbps 22.58 Mpps 116.8 Minutes
3
cell phone icon Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite)
6,644 112.28 Gbps 22.58 Mpps 123.6 Minutes
4
laptop icon Electronic Computer Manufacturing
5,382 112.28 Gbps 22.58 Mpps 131.9 Minutes
5
Telecomm Tower icon Other Other Telecommunications
3,476 112.28 Gbps 22.58 Mpps 156.7 Minutes
6
shopping cart icon Electronic Shopping + Mail-Order Houses
2,852 112.28 Gbps 22.58 Mpps 152.8 Minutes
7
car icon New Car Dealers
1,935 78.20 Gbps 15.71 Mpps 141.3 Minutes
8
web page code icon Custom Computer Programming Services
631 112.28 Gbps 22.58 Mpps 171.4 Minutes
9
chart in hand icon Marketing Consulting Services
311 5.46 Gbps 0.69 Mpps 40.0 Minutes
10
Document with PDF icon Software Publishers
253 97.06 Gbps 18.98 Mpps 207.6 Minutes
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