Be warned: DDoS attacks have doubled in the past year

The size of the average attack is getting bigger, too

DDoS attacks are on the increase, and in a big way, according to new research from Verisign.

The company, which provides various security services including blocking distributed denial of service attacks, just issued its Q4 2015 DDoS Trends Report, finding that there were 85% more attacks in the last quarter of 2015 compared to the previous year.

In other words, in the space of a year the amount of DDoS attacks has almost doubled. Some of Verisign's customers had a campaign waged against them and were hit by repeated attacks over the three-month period.

The size of the average attack ran to 6.88Gbps, and the biggest attack the company witnessed – which sent 125 million packets per second in a multi-vector DDoS hit – peaked at 65Gbps.

IT industry under fire

Verisign also observed that every industry is a target for DDoS fire, but the most hit sector is IT services, cloud and SaaS which represented 32% of the attacks mitigated. The media and entertainment sector was a close second on 30%, followed by the financial sector which saw 15% of attacks, and then the public sector on 10% with the telecoms industry on 8%.

As for the type of attacks used, UDP (User Datagram Protocol) flood attacks were by far the most prevalent representing 75% of incidents, followed by TCP floods at 15% and application layer attacks on 10%.

While were on this subject, it's worth noting that Google's Project Shield offers protection from DDoS attacks for news and human rights websites for free as part of defending freedom of expression on the web.