The Kaspersky Q1 2020 DDoS attacks report has revealed the overall number of attacks grew during the first three months of the year, with a significant spike in attacks on municipal and educational sites.
This can be due to the fact that DDoS actors are taking advantage of the current situation when people are locked down in their homes and are heavily reliant on digital resources. The coronavirus pandemic, beginning in the first quarter of 2020, has caused almost all activities – be it learning, work, or leisure – to shift online.
The increased demand in online resources was noted by cyberattackers, who conducted attacks on the most vital digital services or those that are growing in popularity.
For instance, the US government’s Department of Health and Human Services, a group of hospitals in Paris, and servers of an online game were all targets of DDoS attacks in February and March.
Kaspersky’s Q1 2020 DDoS attacks report also revealed notable growth in attacks on educational resources and cities’ official websites. In Q1 2020, this number tripled compared to the same period in 2019. The share of such attacks amounted to 19% of the total number of incidents in Q1 2020.
Kaspersky experts said the growth in attackers’ interest was caused by the fact that people are becoming more reliant on these online resources remaining stable and accessible during the outbreak.
In general, the total amount of DDoS attacks in Q1 2020 has increased as well. During this period, the average duration of attacks also grew: in Q1 2020, a DDoS attack lasted 25% longer than in Q1 2019.
“Outage of Internet services can be especially challenging for businesses now, because this is often the only way to make goods and services available to their customers. In addition, widespread adoption of remote working opens new vectors for those responsible for carrying out DDoS attacks,” commented Alexey Kiselev, business development manager on the Kaspersky DDoS Protection team.
“Previously most attacks were conducted against the public-facing resources of companies. We now see that DDoS attacks target internal infrastructure elements, for example, corporate VPN gateways or email servers.”
To help organizations protect themselves from DDoS attacks while staff work from home and during significant spikes in attackers’ activity, Kaspersky recommends taking the following measures: