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According to a recent security report, organizations witnessed a significant increase in distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in Q4 of 2014 – a spike of 90 percent from the previous quarter.

The finding’s in Akamai’s Q4 State of the Internet report also detailed the most common industries targeted through this attack vector, with the gaming industry appropriately taking the top spot after being hit with 35 percent of attacks.

Other frequent targets included the software and technology industry, with 27 percent of attacks in Q4 2014, as well as internet and telecom service providers, experiencing nearly 11 percent of DDoS attacks.

“An incredible number of DDoS attacks occurred in the fourth quarter, almost double what we observed in Q4 a year ago,” said John Summers, Akamai vice president of the cloud security business unit.

“Denial of service is a common and active threat to a wide range of enterprises. The DDoS attack traffic was not limited to a single industry, such as online entertainment that made headlines in December. Instead, attacks were spread among a wide variety of industries.”

akamai012015The security firm estimated the rapid growth of connected Internet of Things devices likely played a major impact in the expansion of the DDoS threat landscape. In particular, SSDP floods were used substantially more often (up 214 percent) in Q4, generating a massive 106 Gbps of malicious traffic in a campaign.

Nonetheless, Akamai found that attackers continue to rely heavily on their tried-and-true tactics.

“Attackers continued to favor a force over technique approach, which was aided by the mass exploitation of web vulnerabilities, the addition of millions of exploitable Internet-enabled devices, successful botnet building and the monetization of these resources in the DDoS-for-hire underground.”

Furthermore, the up-and-coming DDoS-for-hire market suggests more frequent, innovative and more complex attacks on the horizon. “The expansion of the DDoS-for-hire market may result in the commoditization of DDoS attacks, where availability drives down prices, which grows the market,” read the report.

“DDoS may become a common tool for even non-technical criminals.”