StormWall reveals surge in DDoS attacks on government, retail, and energy sectors in Q4 2023

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StormWall DDoS Report

StormWall’s analysis of Q4 2023 DDoS attacks reveals a sharp increase in threats, especially targeting government, retail, and energy sectors.

Attacks on government services are up 162% YoY

The government sector saw a 162% year-over-year rise in DDoS attacks in Q4 2023, making up 21% of all incidents. This surge is mainly due to geopolitical tensions, like those in the Middle East. In Israel, 42% of attacks targeted government websites, reflecting the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The retail industry experienced a 127% increase in attacks from the previous year, accounting for 17% of all DDoS incidents, StormWall data shows. This rise is linked to major shopping events like Black Friday and the holiday season. The energy sector also saw a significant increase in Q4 2023, with a 109% rise in cyber attacks year-over-year, targeting critical infrastructure like power grids and IoT devices.

Attack methods are evolving

DDoS attacks are growing more complex, StormWall’s data says, using advanced methods like multi-vector attacks, DNS amplification, TCP direct-path, and application layer attacks.

Another worrying trend StormWall has identified is Hyper-Volumetric HTTP DDoS Attacks. These attacks exploit the HTTP/2 Rapid Reset flaw and can reach hundreds of millions of requests per second. This volume is much more than what applications with insufficient protection can handle.

What’s more, StormWall reports a trend towards shorter “hit and run” style attacks, which test defenses before launching more sustained offensives. The majority of DDoS attacks repelled by StormWall’s network lasted 30 minutes or less.

Israel breaks into top 5 most targeted countries in Q4 2023

Geographically, Israel emerged as a top target in Q4 2023, facing 10.6% of all DDoS attacks, a major increase from less than 1% in the previous quarter. This rise is largely due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, escalating cyber threats in the region.

Other heavily targeted countries included China (12.6%), the USA (12.2%), and India (11.7%), in first, second and third place respectively.

Ramil Khantimirov, the founder of StormWall, underscores the importance of heightened cybersecurity vigilance. He comments, “Our data from Q4 2024 clearly demonstrates how quickly the threat landscape can evolve in response to global events. If online infrastructures aren’t prepared now, setting up DDoS protection becomes much harder once they’re targeted. That’s why safeguarding our digital infrastructure is critical, especially now that hackers are increasingly targeting crucial services like government websites, transportation hubs, and power grids.”

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