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DDoS Attacks Targeting Higher Ed Rose 102% in Second Half of 2021, Netscout Report Says

Network security provider Netscout today released its bi-annual Threat Intelligence Report showing an overall decrease during the second half of 2021 in distributed denial-of-service attacks but a 102% increase in such attacks targeting colleges, universities, and professional schools, compared to the prior six months.

“As students returned to classrooms, institutes of higher education suffered a 102% increase in attacks,” said the report from Netscout. “The attacks serve as a warning to education institutions that they can easily fall prey to DDoS attacks that significantly impact operations and learning time.”

The Threat Intelligence report details global and regional DDoS attack trends, analyzes botnet trends, and discusses the latest in DDoS-resistant network architecture.

The total number of DDoS attacks during the last six months of 2021 fell 18% to 4.4 million, the Threat Intelligence Report said, but the full 2021 total of 9.7 million attacks is 14% more than the total for 2019 — and means a DDoS attack occurred every three seconds.

“For the first time ever, three prolific DDoS extortion campaigns operated simultaneously,” Netscout said, “targeting VoIP providers with high-profile DDoS extortion or ransom DDoS attacks from a REvil copycat, resulting in an estimated revenue loss of $9 to $12 million, while Lazarus Bear Armada (LBA) and Fancy Lazarus targeted organizations around the world. Meanwhile, ransomware gangs continued adding triple extortion — attacks made up of file encryption, data theft/leakage, and DDoS attacks — to their arsenals.”

Higher education institutions were among the sectors that saw the biggest increases in DDoS attacks during the second half of the year, according to the report.

Download the full Threat Intelligence Report at

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].

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