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Microsoft says it stopped the biggest ever DDoS attack in history

Germany mulls placing Microsoft under close watch
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Microsoft has revealed that in November, it stopped what it called the largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack ever reported in history.

The DDoS attack, which had a throughput of 3.47 Tbps and a packet rate of 340 million packets per second (pps) and was aimed at an Azure customer in Asia, originated from approximately 10,000 sources in multiple countries, including the United States, China, South Korea, Russia, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Iran, Indonesia, and Taiwan.

The entire attack lasted about 15 minutes and was successfully mitigated.

“We believe this to be the largest attack ever reported in history,” said Alethea Toh Product Manager, Azure Networking.

Microsoft reported last October that it successfully mitigated a 2.4 terabit per second (Tbps) DDoS attack in Azure.

The two other large attacks in December that exceeded 2.5 Tbps were also short bursts targeting Asian servers.

As in the first half of 2021, most attacks were brief, but in the second half of 2021, the proportion of attacks lasting 30 minutes or less dropped from 74% to 57%,” according to Microsoft.

“We saw a rise in attacks that lasted longer than an hour, with the composition more than doubling from 13 per cent to 27 per cent. Multi-vector attacks continue to remain prevalent,” it added.

Customers typically experience longer attacks as a sequence of multiple short, repeated burst attacks.

User Datagram Protocol (UDP) attacks rose to the top vector in the second half of 2021, accounting for 55% of all attacks, a 16% increase from the first half.

This year has seen a number of DDoS attacks on the gaming industry.

“The gaming industry has always been rife with DDoS attacks because players often go to great lengths to win. Nevertheless, we see that a wider range of industries are just as susceptible, as we have observed an increase in attacks in other industries such as financial institutions, media, internet service providers (ISPs), retail, and supply chain,” said Microsoft.

About the author

Brendan Byrne

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala.

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