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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 29.9 Mpps, August 26.0 Mpps, September 437.9 Mpps, October 27.0 Mpps, November 78.2 Mpps, December 29.8 Mpps

Throughput Impact Percentage Change

July 79.3 Gbps, August 119.1 Gbps, September 152.4 Gbps, October 100.8 Gbps, November 116.5 Gbps, December 104.9 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
Wired Telecommunications Resellers icon Wired Telecommunications Carriers
6,373 61.8 Gbps 18.7 Mpps 45.0 Minutes
cell phone icon Wireless Telecommunications Carriers
2,192 68.9 Gbps 15.3 Mpps 41.7 Minutes
cloud icon with up arrow Data Processing, Hosting + Related Services
1,619 26.4 Gbps 4.1 Mpps 56.1 Minutes
Telecomm Tower icon Other Telecommunications
510 6.8 Gbps 3.2 Mpps 79.4 Minutes
shopping cart icon Electronic Shopping + Mail-Order Houses
334 3.3 Gbps 1.9 Mpps 41.8 Minutes
Wine Bottle and Stemmed Glass icon Wine + Distilled Alcoholic Beverage Merchant Wholesalers
131 1.3 Gbps 0.2 Mpps 61.5 Minutes
safe icon Commercial Banking
46 1.4 Gbps 0.2 Mpps 55.9 Minutes
Sales Tag with Telephone icon Telecommunications Resellers
43 0.4 Gbps 0.1 Mpps 29.6 Minutes
educational building icon Colleges, Universities + Professional Schools
26 0.4 Gbps 0.1 Mpps 112.8 Minutes
Satellite Communications icon Satellite Telecommunications
24 0.2 Gbps 0.01 Mpps 16.2 Minutes


Top Five Username + Password Combinations

guest/12345 - 1101; root/xc3511 - 1088; admin/admin - 864; root/vizxv - 713; root/root - 615

Top Exploits

Exploit Name EDB-ID
/ctrlt/DeviceUpgrade_1 Huawei Router 45991
/setup.cgi Netgear Remote Code Execution 45025
/ws/v1/cluster/apps Hadoop YARN ResourceManager 37169
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