Attackers targeted the servers of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 35 times in the first six months of the year, according to a threat advisory released by Akamai, a content delivery network and cloud services provider headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The biggest of these incidents was a DDoS attack that lasted a day, starting on June 7, that peaked at 295 Gbps and 58.6 million packets per second, combining different vectors such as DNS reflection, SYN flood, UDP fragment, PUSH flood, TCP flood, and UDP flood.
Compared to other attacks recorded globally in the first six months, according to Arbor Networks, this MIT DDoS attack is one of the 46 such attacks that went over the 200 Gbps limit, with the absolute record being 597 Gbps.
Kaiten botnet behind massive 295 Gbps attack
Akamai believes that this attack took place at the hands of a botnet powered by the Kaiten malware. Prior to the 295 Gbps DDoS attack, MIT suffered an 89.35 Gbps attack as well.
Attackers targeted multiple IPs in MIT’s network and used a combination of 14 different DDoS flood types. Akamai says that 43 percent of these attacks used protocols susceptible to DDoS reflection flaws that amplified the attacker’s traffic.
The company detected 18,825 different sources of reflected traffic, with the most located in China. China’s presence on any DDoS source list should not be a surprise by now to anyone since the country is the source of much of today’s vulnerable equipment that gets connected online, a source ready for the taking for any determined hacker.
DDoS attacks are on the rise
The same Arbor Networks reports cites an overall increase in terms of DDoS attacks globally, a trend which has continued in July as well.
Just this week, we reported on DDoS attacks against WikiLeaks, after announcing it would release emails from Turkey’s main political party; against the Rio de Janeiro court that banned WhatsApp in Brazil; Steemit social network; the Philippines government websites; Pokemon GO servers; the HSBC bank; and against the US Congress, US Library of Congress, and the US Copyright Office.