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According to a new report by Kaspersky, DDoS attacks rose 4.5x compared to the same period a year earlier, and 46% over the preceding quarter, which was previously considered the all-time high. The current spike in attacks began in late February.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are designed to interrupt network resources used by businesses and organizations and prevent them from functioning properly. They become even more dangerous if the compromised systems are in government or financial sectors, since these services being unavailable has knock-on effects on the wider population.

A large number of the attacks appeared related to hacktivist activity. Examples include a site mimicking the popular 2048 puzzle game to gamify DDoS attacks on Russian websites, and a call to build a volunteer IT army in order to facilitate cyberattacks.

The attacks also showed an unprecedented duration for DDoS sessions, particularly those aimed at state resources and banks. The average DDoS session lasted 80 times longer than those in Q1 2021. The longest attack was detected on March 29 with an atypically long duration of 177 hours.

“In Q1 2022 we witnessed an all-time high number of DDoS attacks,” said Alexander Gutnikov, security expert at Kaspersky. “The upward trend was largely affected by the geopolitical situation. What is quite unusual is the long duration of the DDoS attacks, which are usually executed for immediate profit. Some of the attacks we observed lasted for days and even weeks, suggesting that they might have been conducted by ideologically motivated cyberactivists. We’ve also seen that many organizations were not prepared to combat such threats. All these factors have caused us to be more aware of how extensive and dangerous DDoS attacks can be.”

Read the full report by Kaspersky.

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