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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 71.1 Mpps, August 72.3 Mpps, September 55.9 Mpps, October 94.0 Mpps, November 211.1 Mpps, December 130.6 Mpps

Throughput Impact Percentage Change

July 176.8 Gbps, August 231.4 Gbps, September 230.9 Gbps, October 341.5 Gbps, November 102.0 Gbps, December 120.5 Gbps

Top Ten 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
cloud icon with up arrow Data Processing, Hosting + Related Services
27,604 104.9 Gbps 23.1 Mpps 54.3 Minutes
Wired Telecommunications Resellers icon Wired Telecommunications Carriers
12,542 114.1 Gbps 18.7 Mpps 73.8 Minutes
cell phone icon Wireless Telecommunications Carriers
8,308 108.9 Gbps 18.7 Mpps 94.5 Minutes
laptop icon Electronic Computer Manufacturing
3,943 17.9 Gbps 6.5 Mpps 113.9 Minutes
shopping cart icon Electronic Shopping + Mail-Order Houses
3,145 6.4 Gbps 2.4 Mpps 126.3 Minutes
Telecomm Tower icon Other Telecommunications
2,632 6.9 Gbps 5.3 Mpps 112.2 Minutes
car icon New Car Dealers
1,782 47.1 Gbps 6.5 Mpps 112.8 Minutes
web page code icon Custom Computer Programming Services
552 22.6 Gbps 13.4 Mpps 229.9 Minutes
chart in hand icon Marketing Consulting Services
490 2.9 Gbps 0.8 Mpps 48.8 Minutes
Document with PDF icon Software Publishers
323 49.5 Gbps 5.4 Mpps 154.7 Minutes


Top Five Username + Password Combinations

guest/12345 - 769; root/xc3511 - 730; admin/admin - 651; root/vizxv - 627; root/root - 488

Top Exploits

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