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A growing target: the rise in DDoS attacks in APAC nations

There exists any number of sayings dedicated to the downsides of success. “You know you’ve made it when you have haters”and “The bigger they are, the harder they fall”, to name but a couple. While these pithy lines might seem like they exist to assure most of us that an average life can be perfectly pleasant, the reason these sayings exist is because they’re true. With success comes a flurry of unpleasant side effects. Just ask the APAC nations with booming economies and developed digital markets. They would assuredly tell you it’s perfectly accurate…if they weren’t so busy dealing with DDoS attacks.

APAC attack facts

The numbers are in for the fourth quarter of 2017, and for Asia-Pacific nations they are staggering. According to leading distributed denial of service protection providers ImpervaIncapsula’s Q4 Global DDoS Threat Landscape report, seven of the 10 most targeted nations are located in the APAC region, for both number of total attacks and number of targets.

Hong Kong landed at the top of the list for the largest number of attack attempts for the second quarter in a row. Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia rounded out the top five, while China, New Zealand and Vietnam were ranked seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.

Bullseye industries

Some of the APAC nations who suddenly found themselves on the DDoS hot seat did so because of vicious DDoS campaigns taken up against some of the top 10 most targeted industries. Hong Kong, in part, reached that lofty number one position thanks to a series of assault campaigns aimed at three local internet providers. One of those ISPs was targeted more than 240 times which breaks down to roughly 2.6 attacks per day for every day of the quarter. Similarly, Taiwan and the Philippines made their appearances in the top ten list for the second quarter in a row likely because of attack campaigns aimed at online gambling sites hosted in the nations. According to the Incapsula report, internet service providers and online gambling were the top two industries most targeted by DDoS attacks in the fourth quarter.


It’s unsurprising that these highly competitive industries suffer so many distributed denial of service attacks. After all, the frustration stemming from repeated DDoS-caused downtime can easily be enough to get customers to abandon a service in favor of a competitor, and the reputation damage that’s done by angry customers on social media is real and lasting. However, the reasons attackers are honing on in businesses and online services in APAC nations can be even dirtier than that.

The wild east

DDoS attacks are often used to distract IT and security teams while attackers attempt an intrusion, and this is a risk to sites, services and businesses all over the world. However, organizations in the APAC region may be especially at risk as the development of digital markets and economies has well outpaced computer crime legislation and law enforcement efforts. This presents DDoS attackers and other cybercriminals with a bevy of low risk and high reward opportunities, and apparently, they’re cashing in.

According to McAfee’s Economic Impact of Cybercrime Report, the global economic impact of cybercrime is around $600 billion dollars. The APAC region accounts for about $380 billion of those losses.

Another type of growth

With the DDoS threat growing alongside digital markets in APAC nations, it’s time for another segment to grow as well: professional distributed denial of service mitigation. With professional DDoS protection not only are businesses and websites protected against DDoS attacks, but since professional protection is a managed service, IT and security staff are left free to guard against other types of attacks and intrusions. Further, businesses like internet service providers, online gambling sites, online gaming platforms and cryptocurrency exchanges that require constant availability can now invest in leading protection with a time to mitigation that clocks in under 10 seconds, preventing even the biggest or smartest attacks from taking hold and causing even a moment of downtime. With the right kind of protection in place, APAC nations can skip all those sayings about the downside of success and focus on the fact that it’s good to be great.



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