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Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are maturing in the era of advanced persistent threats (APT), a new report said.

DDoS attacks often see use as a smokescreen to carry out APT attacks or for other malicious purposes, according to the DDoS Threat Report 2013 from security provider NSFOCUS. The report also notes the availability of DDoS-as-a-service, which affords anyone with a computer and a credit card the ability to carry out an attack.

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DDoS amplification attacks will continue to present a challenge, as the March 2013 attack on anti-spam organization Spamhaus proved, in which traffic reached 300 Gbps. However, the potential for more severe DDoS amplification attacks, such as ones leveraging the NTP, can far exceed the bandwidth levels seen to date.

“DDoS is quickly becoming a common pain point, and businesses need to take this threat seriously if they expect to provide uninterrupted service to their customers,” said Frank Ip, vice president of U.S. operations for NSFOCUS.

Cyber Security

In 2013, cyber attackers showcased the ways in which they have evolved their attack strategies to deploy sophisticated techniques that will inflict the maximum amount of damage using the fewest resources. The more we learn about attack mentality, the stronger our defenses become,” Ip said.

One overarching DDoS trend is smaller, shorter and repeated attacks. The purpose of most attacks is to disrupt, not to destroy. As such, small application-layer or hybrid attacks, which are cheaper to launch, can cause substantial damage to network resources.

DNS attacks increased as a result of advancements in anti-DDoS technologies that can better counter other attack vectors, and DNS infrastructure continues to remain one of the weakest links.

Click here to download a copy of the report.

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