June 18, 2024


This weblog put up was co-authored by Amir Dahan, Senior Program Supervisor, Anupam Vij, Principal Program Supervisor, Skye Zhu, Information and Utilized Scientist 2, and Syed Pasha, Principal Community Engineer, Azure Networking.

In our 2020 retrospective, we highlighted shifts within the energetic cyberthreat panorama. With the massive surge in web exercise, notably with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) assaults have ramped up considerably in each quantity and complexity.

We proceed to see such tendencies within the first half of the calendar 12 months 2021. With the elevated utilization and provide of IoT units in addition to cryptocurrency like Bitcoin (which is difficult to hint), we see an increase in ransomware and ransom DDoS assaults1, whose victims included Mexico’s nationwide lottery websites2 in addition to Bitcoin.orgthree, amongst others. The web gaming vertical continues to be a really enticing goal of DDoS assaults, as skilled by Respawn Leisure all through the previous few months who suffered vital disruptions to Titanfall’s gameplayfour. Extra industries are being focused, notably greater training5, healthcare6, telecoms7, and public sectors. In Could, a DDoS assault on Belnet, the web service supplier (ISP) for Belgium’s public sector, took down the web sites of greater than 200 organizationseight that included the Belgian authorities, parliament, universities, and analysis institutes.

At Microsoft, the Azure DDoS Safety crew protects each property in Microsoft and your entire Azure infrastructure. On this overview, we share tendencies and insights into DDoS assaults we noticed and mitigated all through the primary half of 2021.

Variety of assaults

In the course of the first half of 2021, we witnessed a pointy enhance in DDoS assaults per day. In comparison with This autumn of 2020, the typical each day variety of assault mitigations within the first half of 2021 elevated by 25 p.c. We mitigated a mean of 1,392 assaults per day, the utmost reaching 2,043 assaults on Could 24, 2021. In whole, we mitigated upwards of 251,944 distinctive assaults towards our world infrastructure through the first half of 2021.

Number of DDoS attacks

Assault bandwidth

Within the first half of 2021, the biggest assault bandwidth reported on Azure assets was 625 Gbps, down from 1 Tbps in Q3 of 2020. Nonetheless, the typical assault measurement elevated by 30 p.c, from 250 Gbps to 325 Gbps.

Assault length

As with 2020, we proceed to see that the majority assaults are short-lived, with 74 p.c being 30 minutes or much less and 87 p.c being one hour or much less.

Attack duration

The proportion of short-lived assaults remained largely constant throughout the primary half of 2021. Seventy-six p.c of assaults in Q1 of 2021 have been 30 minutes or much less length, in comparison with 73 p.c of assaults in Q2.


This 12 months, we see extra superior methods being employed by attackers, reminiscent of recycling IPs to launch short-burst assaults.

Prime assault vectors

In comparison with 2020, we see an increase in volumetric transmission management protocol (TCP) flood assaults. The primary half of 2021 was characterised by a shift in the direction of assaults towards net functions, whereby TCP assaults are at 54 p.c of all assault vectors (primarily TCP, SYN, SYN-ACK, and ACK floods).

Person datagram protocol (UDP) assaults have been the highest vector in 2020 comprising greater than 65 p.c of all assaults. Within the first half of 2021, they decreased to 39 p.c of general assault vectors, with amplification assaults accounting for 11 p.c of whole assaults.

Attack vectors

Whereas UDP assaults comprised the vast majority of assault vectors in Q1 of 2021, TCP overtook UDP as the highest vector in Q2. From Q1 to Q2, the proportion of UDP dropped from 44 p.c to 33 p.c, whereas the proportion of TCP elevated from 48 p.c to 60 p.c.


Prime attacked areas

Much like 2020, america (59 p.c), Europe (19 p.c), and East Asia (6 p.c) have been essentially the most attacked areas because of the focus of monetary companies and gaming industries in these areas. As monetary establishments are inclined to depend on TCP workloads, it is smart that these areas have been more durable hit within the first half of 2021, given the rise in TCP flood assaults.

Attack destinations

The United Arab Emirates has been more and more hit by DDoS assaults on authorities, non-public, oil and gasoline, telecommunications, and healthcare sectors. The area was notably hit arduous in January, with 70 p.c of its whole assaults concentrated in that month.

As with 2020, East Asia (Hong Kong) stays a well-liked goal of DDoS assaults, with 41 p.c of its whole assaults occurring in Could and June. In June, we noticed an enormous uptick in SYN, SYN-ACK, and ACK flood assaults within the area and we mitigated a number of VIPs totaling as much as 225M PPS of site visitors.

Top 5 attacked destinations by month

Prime assault sources

The highest supply international locations to generate DDoS assaults have been america (29 p.c), China (28 p.c), Russia (three p.c), and adopted by South Korea (three p.c). Unknown sources (7 p.c) point out that the autonomous system numbers (ASNs) have been both rubbish, spoofed, or non-public ASNs that we couldn’t translate.


New assault sorts noticed

New zero-day assault vectors that we noticed and defended towards:

Microsoft Home windows RDP abuse on UDP 3389

In January, Microsoft Home windows servers with Distant Desktop Protocol (RDP) enabled on UDP/3389 have been being abused to launch UDP amplification assaults. These assaults had an amplification ratio of 85.9:1 and a peak at ~750 Gbps.

Reflection and amplification DDoS assault mitigation.

D/TLS exploit reflection assault

In February, we noticed cases of the Datagram Transport Layer Safety (D/TLS) assault vector. Video streaming and gaming prospects have been getting hit by D/TLS refection assaults which exploited UDP supply port 443.

~four,300 publicly reachable servers are posing a brand new DDoS hazard to the Web—Ars Technica.

Plex Media server abuse

In June, we noticed an rising reflection assault iteration for the Easy Service Supply Protocol (SSDP). This protocol usually makes use of supply port 1900, and the brand new mutation was both on supply port 32414 or 32410, often known as Plex Media Easy Service Supply Protocol (PMSSDP).

Plex Media servers are being abused for DDoS assaults—ZDNet.

Shield your workloads with Azure DDoS Safety Normal

The world continues to be closely depending on digital companies. We see a rising reliance on cloud-computing companies, throughout sectors from monetary companies to healthcare. Cyberthreats are pervasive and ever-evolving, and it’s at all times essential for companies to develop a sturdy DDoS response technique and be proactive in defending their public workloads.

Azure DDoS Safety Normal supplies enhanced DDoS mitigation options to defend towards DDoS assaults. It’s mechanically tuned to guard all public IP addresses in digital networks. Safety is straightforward to allow on any new or current digital community and doesn’t require any utility or useful resource modifications. Our lately launched Azure built-in insurance policies permit for higher administration of community safety compliance by offering nice ease of onboarding throughout all of your digital community assets and configuration of logs.

With the current rise of net utility DDoS assaults, it’s best to make use of DDoS Safety Normal alongside Software Gateway net utility firewall (WAF), or a third-party net utility firewall deployed in a digital community with a public IP, for complete safety. This additionally works if you’re utilizing Azure Entrance Door alongside Software Gateway, or in case your backend assets are in your on-premises setting. Moreover, when Software Gateway with WAF is deployed in a DDoS protected digital community, there are not any further fees for WAF—you pay for the Software Gateway on the decrease non-WAF price.


If in case you have an online utility that receives site visitors from the Web and is deployed regionally, you’ll be able to host your utility behind Software Gateway, then defend it with a WAF towards Layer 7 net assaults and allow DDoS Safety Normal on the digital community which accommodates the Software Gateway and WAF. The backend origins of your utility might be in your on-premises setting, which is related over the digital non-public community (VPN). DDoS Safety Normal will defend your utility by mitigating unhealthy site visitors and routing the supposed clear site visitors to your utility.

Azure DDoS Safety Normal gives the next key advantages:

  • Backed by the Microsoft world community: We deliver huge DDoS mitigation capability to each Azure area, scrubbing site visitors on the Azure community edge earlier than it could influence the provision of your companies. If we establish that the assault quantity is important, we leverage the worldwide scale of Azure to defend the assault from the place it’s originating.
  • Price safety: DDoS assaults typically set off the automated scale-out of the service operating in Azure. This might result in a big enhance in community bandwidth, the scaling-up of the digital machine depend, or each. Within the occasion of an assault, you’ll be able to obtain Azure credit for any scale-out of assets, so that you shouldn’t have to fret about setting your utility to auto-scale or paying the surplus price for egress knowledge switch.
  • DDoS Fast Response: Throughout an energetic assault or after an assault, you’ll be able to have interaction the DDoS Safety Fast Response crew for assist with assault investigation and specialised help. The DDoS Safety Fast Response crew follows the Azure Fast Response help mannequin.
  • Wealthy assault analytics: With DDoS assault analytics, you’ll be able to view metrics, configure alerts, and get detailed mitigation reviews and move logs that provide you with detailed visibility into assault site visitors and actions we’re taking to mitigate a DDoS assault. You can even join your logs to Azure Sentinel, and look at and analyze your knowledge in workbooks. With Azure Safety Middle, we provide alerts each time your public IP is underneath a DDoS assault, or if the assault has been mitigated by us, and we additionally supply suggestions to allow DDoS Normal to your unprotected digital networks.

Be taught extra about Azure DDoS Safety Normal


1‘Fancy Lazarus’ Cyberattackers Ramp up Ransom DDoS Efforts.

2Mexico partitions off nationwide lottery websites after ransomware DDoS risk.

threeBitcoin.org Hit With DDoS Assault, Bitcoin Demanded as Ransom.

fourTitanfall 2 Unplayable on Consoles Because of DDoS Assaults.

5Straightforward and Cheap, DDoS Assaults Surge in Increased Ed.

6Why It’s Vital For the Healthcare Sector to Reassess their Cybersecurity Posture.

7DDoS attackers flip consideration to telecoms corporations.

eightThis huge DDoS assault took massive sections of a rustic’s web offline.


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