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DDoS attacks on financial sector booming

Prolexic report shows threefold growth in attacks on financial sector in Q1

DDoS attacks are becoming shorter but are using more bandwidth.
DDoS attacks are becoming shorter but are using more bandwidth.

DDOS attacks against the financial sector almost tripled during the first quarter of this year, according to DDoS mitigation specialist Prolexic.

The company said that its Prolexic Security Engineering & Response Team (PLXsert) team logged

During Q4 2011, over 168 trillion bits of data and 14 billion packets of malicious traffic were identified as targeting financial services clients. This quarter, 5.7 quadrillion bits of data and 1.1 trillion malicious packets were identified and successfully mitigated, representing a 3,000% increase in malicious packet traffic over Q4 2011.

The company said that it mitigated more attack traffic in Q1 2012 than it did in all of 2011.

Prolexic also noted that the average duration of attacks declined, while the average attack bandwidth also increased to 6.1 Gbps, up from 5.2 Gbps in the previous quarter. The company says this marks an emerging trend for shorter attack durations, with higher traffic volumes.

The company also noted the number of attacks against the application layer (Layer 7) increased by 6%, with a predicted gradual shift to attacks against this layer rather than Layer 3 and Layer 4 which are most popular at present.

"This quarter was characterized by extremely high volumes of malicious traffic directed at our financial services clients," said Neal Quinn, Prolexic's vice president of Operations. "We expect other verticals beyond financial services, gaming and gambling to be on the receiving end of these massive attack volumes as the year progresses."

"The expertise of Prolexic's Security Operations Center staff and the unrivaled capacity of our cloud-based mitigation platform minimized the impact of these large attacks against their targets," said Quinn.

According to the Prolexic Quarterly Global DDos Attack Report, China continues to be the main source country for attacks, with the US and Russia moving up the rankings.