Lumen reports 66% of Q4 2023’s largest DDoS attacks targeted the government sector

Feb. 9, 2024
The company warns that AI is being used to craft more sophisticated attacks.

In a Feb. 8 press release, Lumen Technologies outlined a surge of DDoS attacks in the government sector experienced in Q4 2023. Lumen’s “Quarterly DDoS & Application Threat Report for Q4 2023” revealed that of the 1000 largest attacks Lumen mitigated in Q4 2023, 66% were targeted at the government—a 163% increase from Q3, and a 4,025% increase year-over-year.

Lumen’s VP of product, cybersecurity, and AI, Sharada Achanta, said in the press release, “The government sector holds extremely sensitive data, so you can understand why it is a prime target for cyberattacks. Espionage, extortion, and disruptions are the reasons behind these attacks, and the attackers are not deterred by the increased security measures.”

Based on data from ThreatX, Lumen’s DDoS mitigation platform and application protection partner, the report also discussed 2023’s largest DDoS attack: an attack on a telecom customer that reached a peak of 903 Gbps.

Lumen further reports that the growing prevalence of AI is both a helper and a hindrance to their cybersecurity efforts, with Lumen employing AI to monitor, predict, and respond to threats and attackers using it to hide, automate, and enhance their attacks.

IDC cybersecurity research director Chris Rodriguez said in the press release, “Cyber miscreants span a broad spectrum, from activists to criminals to nation-state sponsored cyber warfare groups. But DDoS remains a common link between all these groups, as the ability to disrupt the digital experience is a crude but effective cudgel against any modern business. With the security implications of GenAI only just now being explored, the most prudent way to prepare for the unpredictable is to focus on security basics, including a robust DDoS detection and response strategy.”

Lumen warns that businesses should deploy additional application-layer defenses to protect from DDoS attacks and advises that companies have a DDoS mitigation strategy in place.

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