Number of DDoS attacks globally hit record heights in Q3 2021

Edward G. | November 17, 2021

Data presented by Atlas VPN reveals that the total number of DDoS attacks climbed by roughly 24% in Q3 2021, reaching record levels globally. Also, the total number of smart attacks (sophisticated DDoS attacks that are frequently targeted) increased by 31%.

Characteristically, the third quarter of the year is relatively calm in terms of DDoS (denial-of-service) attacks. This year, however, the pattern is completely different, as the volume of attacks reached record heights.

The data for the report is provided by a cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky. The company gathered DDoS attack data from its users to provide a clear view of the current threat landscape.

The chart reveals that the total volume of DDoS attacks grew by 23.64% in Q3 2021 compared to Q3 2020. Similarly, smart attacks climbed by 14.29% in Q2 2021 and by 31.43% in Q3 2021.

The number of daily DDoS attacks was especially high in Q3, surging to record heights since Q1 2015. In July, the average daily count of DDoS attacks had surpassed 1,000. Moreover, Kaspersky recorded an all-time high of 8,825 attacks on August 18th. 

The jumps are especially noteworthy because DDoS botnet activity is increasing together with the cryptocurrency market. These two areas have been competing for computing power because many botnets can be used for both DDoS as well as crypto mining. 

High cryptocurrency prices typically drew capacity away from denial-of-service attacks, but in Q3 2021, we see a different pattern. 

DDoS services are in high demand, and a prolonged supply shortfall has likely resulted in a price surge, making it profitable for botnet operators to recommence attacks. As a result, the DDoS market appears to be returning to its late-2019 growth rate.

The US most targeted by botnets

Perhaps little to no surprise for most people, the US is the most targeted by DDoS attacks globally. Attacks on the US account for 40.80% of the total volume of threats in Q3 2021, an increase of 4.80% over Q2.

Less expected is the rapid increase in the share of attacks on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. During the second quarter, only 2.46% of botnet activity was sent towards targets in Hong Kong. In Q3, the number surged to 15.07%.

The third spot on the list goes to China, which received 7.74% of all attacks, a moderate decrease over Q2 (10.28%). Brazil (4.49%) and a newcomer - South Africa (3.09%) round out the top five list of most targeted regions.

The geographical locations of DDoS-attack victims are determined by their respective IP addresses. 

Atlas VPN predicts that the volume of DDoS attacks will continue to reach never-before-seen numbers in spite of immense activity in the cryptocurrency market. 

Edward G.

Edward G.

Cybersecurity Researcher and Publisher at Atlas VPN. My mission is to scan the ever-evolving cybercrime landscape to inform the public about the latest threats.

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