Akamai halts a record-breaking DDoS in Europe

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Akamai says that it halted what would have been a record-breaking distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in Europe.

Another month comes another report of a would-be record DDoS. Last month, Cloudflare detailed a record-breaking DDoS attack that it thwarted in June. This time, it’s the turn of Akamai.

According to Akamai, an undisclosed company was hit by sustained traffic over a 30-day period. That traffic peaked on 21st July when the company was hit with 659.6 million packets per second (Mpps) and 853.7 Gbps.

“Akamai detected and mitigated the largest DDoS attack ever launched against a European customer on the Prolexic platform, with globally distributed attack traffic peaking at 853.7 Gbps and 659.6 Mpps over 14 hours,” the company explained.

“The attack, which targeted a swath of customer IP addresses, formed the largest global horizontal attack ever mitigated on the Prolexic platform.”

Akamai does not disclose the customer or the specific country in which they reside, only that they’re based in Eastern Europe.

In total, the company was targeted 75 times over the 30-day period. The horizontal attacks consisted of UDP, UDP fragmentation, ICMP flood, RESET flood, SYN flood, TCP anomaly, TCP fragment, PSH ACK flood, FIN push flood, and PUSH flood, among others.

Much like the attack thwarted by Cloudflare in June, Akamai theorises that a highly-sophisticated, global botnet of compromised devices was used for the campaign.

“To thwart the attack and safeguard our customer, Akamai Prolexic employed its industry-leading combination of technology, people, and processes to pre-mitigate the assault with no collateral damage thanks to our proactive defense posture for this customer,” says the company.

Cloudflare’s post-attack analysis found that – unlike most modern botnets that have used compromised, low-power IoT devices – the attack it mitigated was on such a scale that it most likely used hijacked virtual machines and powerful servers.

We’ll have to wait and see whether Akamai comes to a similar conclusion about the attack it mitigated, but it’s clear that DDoS attacks continue to grow in scale and potential severity.

(Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash)

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