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14 February 2017
| James Pearce
DDoS attacks greater than 100Gbps increased by 140% in the fourth quarter of 2016, with 10 attacks surpassing 300Gbps in the year overall, according to Akamai.
In its latest State of the Internet security report, content
delivery network Akamai found the larges distributed denial of
service (DDoS) attack in Q4 2016, which peaked at 517Gbps, came
from a Spike botnet that has been around for two years.
There were 12 so-called "mega" attacks (over 100Gbps)
recorded in Q4, seven of which were attributed to Mirai. The
malware shot to fame last year after it was used in a DDoS
attack on DNS provider Dyn that resulted in outages for a
number of major internet platforms.
Mirai attacks consumer devices such as remote cameras and
home routers, part of the internet of things (IoT) to increase
data output, potentially launching a DDoS attack. It has been
linked to numerous attacks last year, and crashed an estimated
900,000 routers from Deutsche Telekom in November.
Though DDoS attacks grew by 4% year-on-year, they were down
16% on a quarterly basis. The number of attacks measured at
100Gbps or more also fell by 37% to 12, compared with Q3.
However, there was just five attacks of that volume recorded in
Attacks on web applications fell year-on-year by 19%, while
the number of attacks from the US, which is currently the top
source of attacks overall, also decreased.
"As we saw with the Mirai botnet attacks during the third
quarter, unsecured Internet of Things (IoT) devices continued
to drive significant DDoS attack traffic," said Martin McKeay,
senior security advocate and senior editor of the
"With the predicted exponential proliferation of these
devices, threat agents will have an expanding pool of resources
to carry out attacks, validating the need for companies to
increase their security investments. Additional emerging system
vulnerabilities are expected before devices become more
State of the Internet,