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DDoS attacks hit record numbers in Q2 2015

The number of distributed denial of service attacks in the second quarter of 2015 has hit record highs according to the latest State of the Internet report from Akamai.

DDoS attacks grew seven percent since the last quarter and a staggering 132 percent compared to this time last year. In the quarter there were also 12 attacks that were categorized as “mega attacks,” peaking at more than 1,000 gigabits per second (Gbps) and 50 million packets per second (Mpps).

Very few organizations can defend against these kinds of attacks, said the report. Mega attacks have become more frequent, increasing from last quarter’s report but not as high the 17 recorded in Q3 2014.

The biggest DDoS attack recorded in the quarter lasted for over 13 hours at 240 Gbps a second. Attacks typically last about one to two hours.

Related: Battlefield Hardline on the Xbox One targeted by DDoS attacks

One thing that has remained constant compared to the last report is China. The country is marked once again as the top source for producing DDoS attacks. The US and UK came in second and third as sources of attacks.

Online gaming networks have become the most frequent target for DDoS attacks and have been the number one target for over a year, added the report. They are the victims of 35 percent of DDoS attacks. Telecoms were another prime target.

“The threat posed by distributed denial of service (DDoS) and web application attacks continues to grow each quarter,” said Akamai’s John Summers, VP of the Cloud Security Business Unit, Akamai. “Malicious actors are continually changing the game by switching tactics, seeking out new vulnerabilities and even bringing back old techniques that were considered outdated.”

DDoS attacks have become a common means for cybercriminals to distract a target’s security, said Akamai’s senior security advocate Martin McKeay. Most recently UK-based phone carrier Carphone Warehouse was targeted with DDoS attacks while hackers stole millions of customers’ data.