The largest DDoS attacks in the first half of 2020

We continue to acquaint you with the consequences of the activity of cybercriminals, because as Praemonitus, praemunitus said back in ancient times, forewarned is forearmed.
Only by knowing what the enemy looks like can you prepare for his meeting.

Today we would like to talk about large DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks in the first half of 2020.

On June 21, the Cloudflare service underwent a high-volume DDoS attack, which reached 754 million packets per second. The attack lasted four days, starting on June 18th and up to June 21st: attacking traffic was sent from over 316,000 IP addresses to a single Cloudflare IP address, which was mainly used for websites on the free plan.

During these four days, the attack used a combination of three TCP attack vectors: SYN floods, ACK floods, and SYN-ACK floods. The attack continued for several hours at rates exceeding 400-600 Mpps, and peaked several times over 700 Mpps with a maximum peak of 754 Mpps. Attackers attempted to suppress routers and data center devices with high packet rates.

Cloudflare said they were able to mitigate the attack, although some reports suggest it was only a red herring for a massive data theft or a pre-attack test a few days later.

Cloudflare is an American company providing CDN services, DDoS protection, secure resource access and DNS servers. Cloudflare services act as a reverse proxy for the site.
CEO: Matthew Prinze (2009–)
Revenue: USD 287 million (2019)
Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA
Established: July 2009, San Francisco, California, USA
Founders: Matthew Prinze, Lee Holloway, Michelle Zatlin

Also on June 21, Akamai suppressed the largest PPS (packet per second) DDoS attack previously recorded on the platform. The attack generated 809 Mpps (millions of packets per second), targeting a large bank from Europe. According to company representatives, this is a new industry record for PPS targeted attacks.
A feature of this attack was the explosive growth of source IP addresses. This suggests that the traffic was highly distributed, besides, in addition to the volume of addresses, the peculiarity was that almost all traffic came from IPs who did not participate in attacks until 2020, which signals the emergence of a new botnet.

Unusually, 96.2% of original IP addresses were discovered for the first time (or at least not tracked as part of attacks in recent history). Researchers observed several different attack vectors originating from 3.8% of the remaining original IP addresses, coinciding with one attack vector seen in this attack in conjunction with others. In this case, most of the original IP addresses were identified from the major ISPs, which means the compromised computers of the end users.

The June 21 attack differed not only in its size, but also in the speed with which it reached its peak. The attack skyrocketed from normal traffic to 418 Gbps almost instantaneously, reaching its peak size of 809 Mpps in about two minutes. In total, the attack lasted almost 10 minutes.

Akamai Technologies is a website acceleration service provider, content delivery platform and application provider. Uses 240,000 geographically distributed servers for faster content delivery to visitors.
Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Revenue: 2.894 billion USD (2019)
Date of foundation: 1998
CEO: Frank Thomson Leighton (1 Jan 2013 -)
Founders: Frank Thomson Leighton, Daniel Levin, Randall Kaplan, Jonathan Zelig

Earlier, Amazon AWS Shield repaid a BPS attack with a capacity of 2.3 TB / sec. The attack on Akamai 418 Gbps does not look so grand from this perspective, but do not forget that these are different types of attacks, before that the record traffic volume of PPs attacks was only 293.1 million packets per second, which is 2, 7 times less than the Akamai incident.

The AWS Shield Threat Landscape Report did not know which AWS client the attack was targeting, but mentions that the DDoS was organized using compromised CLDAP web servers. The repulse of the attack lasted three days before it died out.

Amazon is an American company, the world’s largest e-commerce and public cloud computing platform by revenue and market capitalization.
Founder: Jeff Bezos
Established: July 5, 1994, Bellevue, Washington, USA
CEO: Jeff Bezos (May 1996 -)
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, USA
Revenue: 280.522 billion USD (2019)

2020 is being held under the flag of combating the COVID-2019 coronavirus epidemic, which affected both the way we work and do business, communications between users, and the goals and methods of attacks by cybercriminals.
Due to the increased activity in the use of delivery services, educational platforms, game servers, means of remote communication, an increased interest in information resources of a medical nature, the emphasis in attacks on the network has also changed.

In particular, in March there was an attempt to block the work of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), some online thugs, as the representatives of the ministry colorfully put it, the benefit of HHS, in preparation for responding to the epidemic, established additional protection and added capacity to its resources to prevent interruptions in work.

Also in March, the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP) network of hospitals in Paris, which consists of 44 institutions, came under attack, some systems were unavailable for several hours, although this caused inconvenience in the work of staff, in particular, remote employees , but in this case the attack was repulsed.

Less lucky food delivery service (, criminals attacked them at a time when the number of applications increased sharply, but they could only accept orders, and a distributed denial of service attack on the site interfered with processing. For stopping the siege, the criminals extorted 2 bitcoins. Jitse Groen, founder and CEO of Takeaway, then tweeted a post with a screenshot of their message.

The cybercriminals were not paid the ransom, but due to the size of the delivery network, which is more than fifteen thousand restaurants in Germany, the consequences of the DDoS attack were significant both for customers and restaurant owners and for the service itself. Lieferando also had to compensate users for paid but unfulfilled orders.

The same situation was with the Dutch delivery service Thuisbezorgd.

Ddosili in March is the online platform Mebis in Germany, which targets online education for Bavarian schoolchildren.

On the very first day of switching to distance learning, hundreds of thousands of automatic page views put the site down for several hours.

Problems were also observed on gaming platforms, in particular, Blizzard and the multiplayer game EVE Online, the latter was especially unlucky, it was under the onslaught of a DDOS attack for nine days.

In January, Wargaming servers were subjected to a prolonged DDoS attack. World of Tanks, World of Warships and World of Warplanes players had problems logging in and out of the server.

The servers of government agencies in Greece were also attacked, websites of ministries, emergency services and even the country’s police were out of order.

The FBI reported that a US voter registration site was attacked in February. The hackers used a pseudo-random attack on subdomains (PRSD) technique, queries occurring for at least one month at intervals of about two hours, with query rates peaking at around 200,000 DNS queries.

The list of attacks is far from complete, but not all of them deserve mention, and we are well aware that in some cases, under the guise of DDoS, companies can hide their incompetence in supporting an increased number of users, without foreseeing additional capacities in equipment and their services.


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