Azure DDoS Protection—2021 Q3 and Q4 DDoS attack trends

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Regular Contributor

Written by Alethea Toh, Product Manager, Azure Networking

 

This blog post was co-authored by Anupam Vij, Principal PM Manager, and Syed Pasha, Principal Network Engineer, Azure Networking

 

In the second half of 2021, the world experienced an unprecedented level of Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) activity in both complexity and frequency. The gaming industry was perhaps the hardest hit, with DDoS attacks disrupting gameplay of Blizzard games1, Titanfall2, Escape from Tarkov3, Dead by Daylight4, and Final Fantasy 145 among many others. Voice over IP (VoIP) service providers such as Bandwidth.com6, VoIP Unlimited7, and VoIP.ms8 suffered outages following ransom DDoS attacks. In India, we saw a 30-fold increase of DDoS attacks during the nation’s festive season in October9 with multiple broadband providers targeted, which shows that the holidays are indeed an attractive time for cybercriminals. As we highlighted in the 2021 Microsoft Digital Defense Report, the availability of DDoS for-hire services as well as the cheap costs—at only approximately $300 USD per month—make it extremely easy for anyone to conduct targeted DDoS attacks.

 

At Microsoft, despite the evolving challenges in the cyber landscape, the Azure DDoS Protection team was able to successfully mitigate some of the largest DDoS attacks ever, both in Azure and in the course of history. In this review, we share trends and insights into DDoS attacks we observed and mitigated throughout the second half of 2021.

 

August recorded the highest number of attacks

 
Microsoft mitigated an average of 1,955 attacks per day, a 40 percent increase from the first half of 2021. The maximum number of attacks in a day recorded was 4,296 attacks on August 10, 2021. In total, we mitigated upwards of 359,713 unique attacks against our global infrastructure during the second half of 2021, a 43 percent increase from the first half of 2021.

 

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