Microsoft Fends Off Largest DDoS Attack Ever Recorded

Published · Oct 16, 2021

Microsoft recently reported that it managed to mitigate a 2.4Tps Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in August. The malicious attempt targeted an unnamed Azure customer and was 140% higher than the highest attack volume recorded in 2020.

The company reported the incident in a blog post titled “Business as usual for Azure customers despite 2.4 Tbps DDoS attack” with an air of triumph. Microsoft didn’t name the target, but it did mention that it was a European entity.

The attack originated from 70,000 sources from multiple countries across the Asia-Pacific region and the United States. It took place over just ten minutes with three main spikes, the first of which hit the 2.4Tps mark.

Cloud hosting providers are often big targets for DDoS attacks. Microsoft Azure’s rival, Amazon Web Services, previously held the record for the biggest DDoS attack ever recorded—2.3Tps.

Overwhelm and Misdirect

DDoS attacks work to overload a system with traffic and force it offline. This is normally done with a botnet. The malicious attempts can serve purely to disrupt a website or service, like a cloud storage system.

However, they can also be a distraction from other attacks. For example, as a cover to install malware that will get to work when everything calms down.

If the attacks are successful, they can cost companies tens of thousands of dollars per hour. Not to mention—wipe out resources.

This indicates the importance of resilient backup systems. Such attacks are increasing in frequency and scale. Although Microsoft reported a lower volume of attacks in 2020, this incident might indicate that threat actors are gathering muster.

The fact that Azure was able to shrug off such a large attack is a testament to the resilience of the service. This, in turn, indicates that providers are gathering strength to meet the growing threat of cyberattacks.

Garan van Rensburg
Garan van Rensburg

Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.