According to its quarterly report released Tuesday, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation technology and services provider Prolexic reported worldwide DDoS attacks remained at an all-time high during the final quarter of 2013, including some of the largest attacks ever seen.
"A level once regarded as an anomalous peak is now the norm," the report states in reference to the sheer volume of attacks seen at the end of 2013.
Ten of the world's largest banks rely on Prolexic to protect their businesses, according to the company.
Though the total number of DDoS attacks only increased by 2% from the third quarter of 2013, the quantity and the magnitude of DDoS attacks mitigated by Prolexic reached levels never before seen. Prolexic says it fought some large and highly sophisticated attacks, one of which, at 179 Gbps, was the largest attack to ever traverse Prolexic's mitigation infrastructure.
Compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, DDoS attacks were up more than 26%, capping a record-breaking year. The year-to-year metrics show that there were not only more DDoS attacks in 2013, but they were more potent, more efficient and took less time to execute. Average attack duration fell nearly 30% from 32.31 hours to 22.88 hours year-to-year.
Prolexic saw a sharp increase in frequency of DDoS attacks in 2013, as by year-end Prolexic mitigated 32.4% more attacks than in 2012.
Geographically, DDoS attack origination locations shifted towards Asian countries. At least six of the countries in the top 10 source countries list were Asian countries in each quarter of 2013, the report said.
The United States was the main origin country of DDoS attacks in the fourth quarter of 2013, accounting for nearly a quarter of all attacks at 23.6%. The number of attacks originating from the U.S is on the rise, increasing 20.9% year-to-year. China fell to second place, a drop of 55.4% year-to-year. Thailand is also on the rise, securing third place to end 2013 after finishing 2012 ranked eighth.