Kaspersky: Longest DDoS attack lasted 320 hours in Q3

The number of attacks lasting 150 hours or more has substantially increased

Kaspersky's research has revealed that the longest continuous DDoS attack lasted more than 320 hours in the third quarter of 2015, with more attacks than ever lasting 150 hours or more.

However, the majority (more than 90 per cent) of DDoS attacks lasted less than 24 hours, showing companies are reacting faster to hacks.

DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks involve multiple computers attempting to access a server (or group of servers) at once, forcing the target to fold under the pressure.

"Based on our observations and direct measurements, we cannot pinpoint one exact direction in which the underground business of DDoS attacks is moving. Instead, the threat appears to be growing everywhere," Evgeny Vigovsky, head of Kaspersky DDoS Protection, said.

Banks are the most common targets for such cyber strikes and ransom demands, while Linux-based botnet assaults, accounted for almost half of all attacks on servers around the world. Kaspersky explained the reason for this is that companies aren't using appropriate protection, while higher bandwidth capacity means they are easier to execute.

"We have recorded highly complex attacks on banks, demanding a ransom, but we have also observed new, low-cost methods designed to put a company's operations down for a significant amount of time," Vigovsky said.

Servers in China, the US and South Korea were attacked most often, but interestingly, the majority of crime originated from these three countries too. It demonstrates that although other attacks such as card theft may occur across geographic boundaries, DDoS attacks tend to be more localised. Kaspersky's report also revealed one unlucky server in the Netherlands was attacked 22 times.

"Attacks are growing in volume with most of them aiming to attack, disrupt and disappear, but the number of lengthy attacks, capable of bankrupting a large, unprotected business is also on the rise. These significant developments make it imperative for companies to take measures to prevent the very real threat and increased risk posed by DDoS attacks."

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