According to the Q1 2013 Global DDoS Attack Report from DDoS protection and mitigation provider Prolexic, the average attack bandwidth totaled 48.25 Gbps in the first quarter of 2013, an increase of 718 percent over the previous quarter's average of 5.9 Gbps.

The report also states that Q1 2013 saw the highest number of attacks Prolexic has ever logged in a single quarter. The average attack duration increased by 7.14 percent from 32.2 hours to 34.5 hours, and the average packet-per-second rate reached 32.4 million. The largest attack against Prolexic's client base in Q1 2013 peaked at 130 Gbps.

"When you have average -- not peak -- rates in excess of 45 Gbps and 30 million packets-per-second, even the largest enterprises, carriers, and quite frankly most mitigation providers, are going to face significant challenges," Prolexic president Stuart Scholly said in a statement.


According to the company, last year saw the emergence of DDoS attacks that leveraged both significant botnet resources and an intimate understanding of Internet routing topology -- which resulted in a clear shift to high packet-per-second DDoS attacks.

"It's a classic change up," Scholly said. "Nearly everyone has been focused on bandwidth and gigabits per second, but it's the packet rate that's causing the most damage and presenting the biggest challenge. These packet rates are above the thresholds of all but the most expensive routers and line cars and we are seeing networks buckle as a result."