DDoS attacks account for 3% of net traffic

Is the internet clogged with "raw sewage"?

Internet research firm Arbor Networks has calculated that up to three per cent of the internet traffic is clogged up with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, with peaks of up to five per cent.

The company has just spent 18 months collecting data from 68 ISPs covering over 100,000 interfaces on nearly 1,300 routers. Arbor estimates that somewhere in the region of 13,000 DDoS attacks are being made every day.

By contrast The Register reports that email accounts for one to 1.5 per cent of internet traffic, with 66 per cent of email classified as spam.

Sewage

In total, this means about four percent of packets being exchanged over the net are junk. Arbor refers to this spam email and malicious DDoS requests as “raw sewage” – a fairly apt description it has to be said.

According to Arbor TCP/SYN floods are the most commonly used type of DDoS attack, with ICMP floods coming second. DDoS attacks are usually launched with the primary intention of overloading a host server and causing it to crash or lock up.

Well-publicised targets of recent DDoS attacks have included public and financial institutions in Estonia by Russian nationalists, and the Church of Scientology by some sections of the loose-knit Anonymous collective.

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