Akamai has just mitigated a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack of epic proportions. While it was short-lived, it was very intense, and it most likely could have easily taken the target server offline.
It was the largest-ever DDoS attack launched against a target in the Asia-Pacific region. Despite the scale of the attack, Akamai was able to block it entirely.
A DDoS attack consists of hundreds, if not thousands of computers that are used to send fake requests to the target server. When such a large volume of requests hits the server out of nowhere, the websites or applications affected are usually taken offline as a result. Even if they remain online, they’re likely to be very slow to respond. The scale of the problem depends on the size of the attack. Just recently, a massive volumetric attack took place, involving over 30,000 computers.
This time, we don’t know how many different IP addresses were used to overwhelm the target server, but we do know that the number of requests per second was record-breaking. According to Bleeping Computer, this was the largest such DDoS attack made against a customer based in the Asia-Pacific region.
The attack took place on February 23, 2023. It peaked at a massive 900.1Gbps (gigabits per second) and 158.2Mpps (million packets per second). The peak only lasted for about a minute and the whole duration seems to have been around an hour.
Akamai reports that it was able to mitigate the attack completely. Its customer wasn’t impacted at all. To block the attack, Akamai used a scrubbing network, which is a protective network that takes over the incoming traffic in order to defend the target of a DDoS attack. The majority of the traffic ended up in Akamai’s centers located in Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Singapore, and São Paulo. Ultimately, Akamai used all of its 26 centers to block this unprecedented attack.
While this was the largest attack on a target in the APAC region, there have been plenty of other DDoS attempts that were successfully mitigated in recent months. Akamai itself managed to stop a massive attack on a target in Eastern Europe that reached 659.6Mpps.
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