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DDoS Threat Report 2019 Q2

DNS amplification attacks swelled in Q2 2019, with the amplified attacks spiking more than 1,000% compared with Q2 2018. Nexusguard researchers attributed Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) with fueling the new wave of DNS amplification attacks, which accounted for more than 65% of the attacks last quarter.

  • Multiple government domains (as well as paypal.com) fell victim to rampant DNS abuses, likely due to many of these domains deploying DNSSEC to the top-level .gov domain.
  • “Bit and Piece” Attacks continued to spread this quarter, adopted for attacks across Europe, North America and Africa.
  • Mobile devices also continued to contribute to DDoS attacks, which primarily originated from iOS mobile devices in addition to botnet-hijacked Windows machines.



Table compares the amplification factors of the 10 most frequently abused domains before and after DNSSEC adoption. Again using aids.gov as an example, the domain’s DNS server amplification power surged to more than 45.28X (up from 4.53X) after DNSSEC. Clearly, DNSSEC is a very cost-effective resource for attackers seeking to reflect amplification attacks.

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