The average DDoS attack only lasts a few minutes

(Image credit: Shutterstock / BeeBright)

The median duration of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks was 6.1 minutes in the first half of 2021, new research has claimed.

The findings are part of cybersecurity company Imperva Research Labs’ Global DDoS Threat Landscape Report, which notes that DDoS attacks are constantly evolving in size, volume, frequency and complexity.

“DDoS attacks have been a significant feature of the threat landscape. What began largely as a form of protest and sabotage has evolved into big business for cybercriminals. Today, anyone can launch a DDoS attack for the price of a good cup of coffee, and $100 is enough to cripple a network,” note the researchers.

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According to their analysis, more than a third of DDoS attacks lasted between one and four minutes, and just over a quarter lasted between four and fifteen minutes. Imperva believes that the short DDoS attacks are usually conducted to distract network teams, and often used as part of a wider multi-vector attack.

Imperva says it mitigated its largest DDoS attack in July 2021 as the comapny was compiling this report, recording a throughput of 1.02 terabits per second (Tbps) and 155 million packets per second (Mpps).

The findings suggest that although attack volumes were consistently high every day of the week in the first half of 2021, Friday saw the launch of the most number of campaigns.

Also, while User Datagram Protocol (UDP) continued to be the most popular protocol for DDoS, the researchers couldn’t help notice the uptick in attacks using the TCP protocol, going up from 10% in 2020 to over 30% in the first half of 2021.

Taiwan emerged as the leading target (33.6%), with the US a close second (28.15%), followed by the UK (12.30%) and Germany (12.17%).

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.