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DDoSing has evolved in the vacuum left by IoT's total absence of security

Botnets' power level over 9,000 thanks to gaping vulnerabilities

IoT botnets have transformed the threat landscape, resulting in a big increase in the size of DDoS attacks from 500Gbps in 2015 up to 800Gbps last year.

Hackers have been able to "weaponise" digital video recorders, webcams and other IoT devices due to inherent security vulnerabilities, according to the DDoS mitigation firm Arbor Networks.

The release of the Mirai botnet source code has enabled the launch of extremely large attacks, such as the high-profile assault on DNS provider Dyn in October that rendered numerous well-known websites inaccessible for hours on end. The massive growth in DDoS capabilities has been driven by increased attack activity on all reflection/amplification protocols. DDoS barrages are not only getting bigger but are also becoming more frequent and complex, with multi-vector attacks becoming increasingly commonplace.

"The survey respondents have grown accustomed to a constantly evolving threat environment with steady increases in attack size and complexity over the past decade," said Darren Anstee, Arbor Networks' chief security technologist. "However, IoT botnets are a game-changer because of the numbers involved. There are billions of these devices deployed and they are being easily weaponised to launch massive attacks."

Since Arbor Networks began its annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report in 2005, DDoS attack size has grown 7,900 per cent or 80 fold, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44 per cent. In the past five years alone, DDoS attack size has grown 1,233 per cent, for a CAGR of 68 per cent.

More than half (53 per cent) of service providers indicated they are seeing more than 21 attacks per month – up from 44 per cent last year. Nearly half (45 per cent) of enterprise, government and education respondents experience more than ten attacks a month – a 17 per cent year-over-year increase. ®

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