Australia among top three countries suffering web application attacks

Australia among top three countries suffering web application attacks

Only behind the US and Brazil

Credit: Dreamstime

Australia has been named as the country that suffered the third-highest number of web application attacks in the world in the third quarter of 2017, receiving a total of 19 million such attacks, according to Akamai.

During the previous quarter, Australia was not even among the top 10, which shows concerns as attackers start targeting the region more and more.

These are the results outlined in Akamai Technologies’ latest State of the Internet – Security Report (SOTI), a quarterly analysis of the threat landscape, and recent DDoS and web application attacks.

According to the network services provider’s findings, Australia was only behind the US and Brazil.

“This quarter saw Australia suffer the third-most web application attacks, behind the US and Brazil. With the holiday season fast upon us, Australian businesses need to review their existing security protections to ensure they hold up against the changing threat landscape, and re-evaluate their defences based on their appetite for risk,” Akamai Asia Pacific senior security specialist, Nick Rieniets, said.

SQL injection (SQLi) attacks continued to be heavily utilised by attackers as a part of the significant rise of web application attacks. This attack vector increased 62 per cent since 2016, and 19 per cent since last quarter.

The report revealed that web applications attacks rose 30 per cent from the second quarter of 2017, representing an increase of 69 per cent in total from the same quarter in 2016.

The number of DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks in the third quarter increased by 8 per cent from the previous quarter, and there was a 13 per cent increase in the average number of attacks per target (36 attacks).

Gamers were at the centre of the attacks, being targeted by 86 per cent of all volumetric DDoS attacks. One customer alone suffered 612 attacks, according to Akamai.

The Mirai malware strain, which was first made public in September 2016, was responsible for the largest attack seen in the reported quarter, peaking at 109 Gbps in size and almost 15 Mpps, an alarming fact according to Akamai.

The ongoing Mirai activity, coupled with the introduction of WireX, which hijacks Android devices, highlights the vast potential that exists for new sources of botnet armies.

“Mobile and IoT devices are becoming the next-generation attack platforms, as bot operators explore new and advanced mechanisms to create highly distributed attacks. This quarter, we saw the code base from Mirai still being used and evolving, along with the introduction of the WireX malware. Even at its currently diminished capacity, the Mirai malware strain is capable of infecting a device within seconds and was responsible for the largest attack in Q3 at 109 Gbps,” Rieniets, said.

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