In Q3 2020, Kaspersky Lab observed a significant drop in all indicators relative to the previous reporting period. This is more likely due to the anomalous DDoS activity seen in Q2 than any unusual lull this quarter, which becomes clear when comparing the current picture with data for the same period in 2019: total attacks increased by 1.5 times, while the number of smart attacks almost doubled.

Unlike the previous quarter, Q3 can be described as normal: finally witnessing the traditional summer decline in the attack market, which did not happen in May and June. Kaspersky Lab team expected such picture in early 2020, but the abnormally high Q2 figures upset the applecart. The current normalization of DDoS activity can be explained by two factors:

  • Global market stabilization amid the coronavirus pandemic. It is now nine months since the introduction of quarantine measures, and the mass transition to remote working has ceased to be news. Companies have adapted to the new work format, and IT departments have plugged holes in remote infrastructure and strengthened key nodes. As a result, there are fewer targets fit for attack.
  • Cryptocurrency market growth. For instance, the Ethereum price shows a clear jump in Q3. Cryptocurrency mining and DDoS attacks are competing markets. Many botnets can do both, and their operators choose where to direct resources at any particular moment depending on the potential yield. In Q3, some botnets could have been switched over to mining.
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