14 January 2021

The Majority of DDoS Attacks in 2020 Targeted the Entertainment Industry, Telecommunications and E-Commerce

StormWall experts analyzed DDoS attacks targeting multiple European online markets in 2020. The analysis revealed that the Entertainment sector (39,6%), Telecommunications (28%), and Online retail (14,55%) were attacked the most. Other industries that were commonly targeted by DDoS campaigns during the year were Finance (8,94%), Education (5,5%) and Construction (3,41%). The data used for the analysis was obtained from StormWall’s customers across multiple industries.

The entertainment industry was most frequently targeted by DDoS attacks in 2020, with the number of malicious campaigns increasing by 14,1% compared to 2019. Traditionally, the majority of DDoS attacks have been directed at the gaming market. Cybercriminals can easily profit by blackmailing the owners of the attacked entertainment website or online application. Next, the number of DDoS attacks on the telecommunications industry increased by 27% compared to last year. The significant attack frequency growth in the telecommunication sector is connected to the intensified competition: since a lot of companies have embraced remote work, the continued internet access has become crucial for many users. The flawless work of internet infrastructure is becoming increasingly critical, and some companies are using DDoS to compete in an unfair way.

The number of DDoS attacks in the e-commerce market in 2020 has increased by a staggering 300% compared to 2019. Most of the attacks are launched by competitors or to extort money.

The number of DDoS attacks targeting banks and financial institutions increased by 30% in 2020 compared to 2019. Cybercriminals launch DDoS attacks as a distraction while utilizing different malicious strategies to steal sensitive data. Specifically, hackers are after the personal information of the users and their credit card details.

StormWall experts used the information obtained during the analysis to highlight several major DDoS attack trends in 2020.

  1. Hackers are trying to exploit vulnerabilities that can shut down a website with a small number of requests per second. Defending against these advanced attacks requires intelligent DDoS protection that supports proactive analysis and learning.
  2. As the attack power increases, businesses are forced to change their defense strategies. Companies need to go beyond basic security measures if they are to detect and fix vulnerabilities in online services and networks.
  3. The rate of DDoS attacks will continue to grow, forcing companies to think about cybersecurity ahead of time. We are currently seeing a trend where companies connect DDoS attack protection after falling victim to an attack or while one is taking place.

"The number of DDoS attacks increased significantly in 2020 compared to 2019. This year, attackers have even started targeting the online education market, which was previously relatively DDoS-free. Looking forward to 2021, we can expect that the difficult economic situation and increased competition will cause cybercriminals to extend their area of operation. For example, we will see more attacks in the real estate, logistics, and healthcare markets — industries that hackers never particularly focused on in the past."

Ramil Khantimirov

CEO and co-founder of StormWall

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