DDoS attacks surge 183% in MENA in Q1 2024
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In the first quarter of 2024, DDoS attacks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region increased by 183% year-on-year, StormWall experts say. StormWall analyzed DDoS attacks against the company’s customers in the MENA region in Q1 2024 and shared its findings in a report.

RELATED: The unbearable asymmetry of DDoS: a call for robust defence strategies

Here are the key takeaways:

The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict fueled a surge in hacktivism in Q1 2024. Government services bore the brunt of these attacks, accounting for 34% of all incidents in the region and experiencing a 218% year-over-year increase. The escalation of conflict, particularly Iran’s direct attack on Israel on April 13, 2024, further intensified DDoS activity.

The energy sector was the second most attacked vertical in Q1 2024, with a 18% share and a 206% year-over-year increase in attacks. Hackers focused on critical infrastructure, targeting supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems and energy management systems (EMS) to disrupt operations and threaten business continuity.

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In Q1 2024, the average number of botnet nodes in the MENA region quadrupled from 4,000 to 16,000. This growth in botnet capacity enables attackers to launch more powerful DDoS attacks, particularly carpet bombing attacks, which increased by 264% year-over-year. Carpet bombing attacks target a wide range of IP addresses within a network, saturating the entire infrastructure with traffic.

The United Arab Emirates (21%), Saudi Arabia (18%), and Iran (14%) were the most targeted countries in the MENA region in Q1 2024. The high ranking of Iran and Israel (12%) once again highlights just how prominent politically motivated attacks are in today’s DDoS threat landscape.

Looking at the breakdown of attacks by protocol, 83% targeted the HTTP and HTTPS protocols. Attacks on TCP and UDP protocols came in second with 10%, while DNS attacks saw a significant increase from 3% last year to 5% in Q1 2024.

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