Akamai mitigates a record 900 Gbps DDoS attack in Asia

Akamai reports mitigating the largest distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack ever launched against a customer based in the Asia-Pacific region.

DDoS is an attack that involves sending a large volume of spam requests to a targeted server, exhausting its capacity and thereby making the websites, applications, or other online services it hosts inaccessible to legitimate users.

These attacks are typically done to cause business interruption, whether for political purposes, retaliation, competing interests, geopolitical reasons, or to extort the victim by delivering ransom demands.

The unprecedented attack mitigated by Akamai recently unfolded on February 23, 2023, peaking at 900.1 gigabits per second and 158.2 million packets per second.

One minute peak DDoS attack
One minute peak DDoS attack (akamai)

Akamai characterizes the attack as intense and of short duration, with a maximum duration of approximately one minute, which is consistent with current trends in the DDoS space.

The Internet security firm handled the attack well, sending the junk traffic to its cleaning network, with most ending up in hubs in Hong Kong, Tokyo, São Paulo, Singapore, and Osaka.

A scrubbing network is a DDoS mitigation measure that involves a distributed infrastructure of many strategically located hubs that take incoming traffic and drop unwanted requests from the target network.

Network load debugging
Network load debugging (akamai)

Although 48% of malicious traffic was handled by scrubbing centers in the APAC region, all 26 Akamai centers were uploaded, but none exceeded 15% of total traffic.

Akamai says that the affected customer did not experience any direct or collateral damage, and its services were not made inaccessible to legitimate customers.

Record DDoS attacks

Akamai’s biggest mitigation was a DDoS attack on September 12, 2022, targeting a customer in Eastern Europe.

That attack peaked at 704 million packets per second, about 4.5 times more than the recent event, but volumetric figures are not available for that incident.

From that perspective, the record holder remains Microsoft, who, in November 2021, mitigated a massive 3.47 Tbps DDoS attack targeting an Asia-based Azure customer.

A recent case of this scale is a Cloudflare DDoS mitigation that targeted Wynncraft, one of the largest Minecraft servers and peaked at 2.5 Tbps.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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