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Crossing the 10 Million Mark: DDoS Attacks in 2020

By Richard Hummel, Carol Hildebrandon January 26th, 2021

DDoS Attacks in 2020

Not all world records are cause for celebration—just look at the DDoS attack numbers from 2020. For the first time in history, we observed more than 10 million DDoS attacks in a single year, with NETSCOUT’s ATLAS Security Engineering and Response Team (ASERT) observing 10,089,687 attacks over the course of the year. That’s nearly 1.6 million more attacks than 2019’s count of 8.5 million.

Granted, DDoS attack numbers move only in one direction—up. But context is important when looking at DDoS statistics from 2020. From March until the end of the year, DDoS attackers operated amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While most of the world saw an unprecedented global health crisis, malicious actors saw new vulnerabilities and opportunity. It is seldom that annual activity is so deeply affected by one event, but such is the case with 2020 DDoS attack activity and trends. It is no coincidence that this milestone number of global attacks comes at a time when businesses have relied so heavily on online services to survive.

The start of the pandemic lockdown ushered in a “new normal” in the way we live a......

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