2014 Neustar Annual DDoS Attacks and Impact Report: A Neustar High-Tech Brief

More than ever, DDoS is a smokescreen for theft against high-tech companies.


DDoS attacks against high-tech firms have started to take a dangerous turn. It’s called DDoS smokescreening — attackers using DDoS as a distraction while they insert malware or viruses to pilfer money, data and intellectual property.

This is just one insight in Neustar’s 2014 Annual DDoS Attacks and Impact Survey. The resulting report compares DDoS findings from 2013 to 2012, based on a survey of 440 North American companies, including 139 businesses delivering technology products and/or services such as software, SaaS, IaaS as well as hardware manufacturers.

Key Findings

Virus and malware insertion during DDoS attacks was common.

47 percent of companies who experienced a DDoS attack and data breach simultaneously reported the installation of a virus or malware. They also report some type of theft:

ddos attack and data theft graph

The industry sees DDoS as a growing threat.

91 percent of high-tech respondents view DDoS as a similar or larger threat than a year ago.

Customer support is the leading area of impact.

For tech companies who suffered an outage from an attack, 53 percent cited customer support as the area most affected, while 47 percent named brand/ customer confidence.

Collectively, non-IT/security groups see the greatest cost increases in the event of a DDoS attack:

ddos attack cost graph

High-tech revenue losses are in line with other sectors’.

In 2013, DDoS was just as risky for high-tech as for other verticals, with 47 percent reporting revenue risks of more than $50K per hour and 31 percent hourly risks of more than $100K. Put another way, the daily revenue risks are often measured in seven figures.

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