In the first quarter of 2019, the number of DDoS attacks increased by 84 per cent, warns antivirus and cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab.

The firm reports it has seen “outstanding growth” in the number of attacks that lasted more than an hour, along with the average duration of such attacks.

Last year the number of DDoS attacks was constantly falling, leading Kaspersky Lab experts to assume that cybercriminals who had been conducting DDoS attacks for financial gain had shifted their attention to other sources of income.

It said that the fall in attacks could indicate that such attacks were still in demand, despite being inaccessible because popular DDoS marketplaces – in which anyone could order and pay for an attack to take place - were taken down.

Once new ‘DDoS-for-hire’ websites launched, the number of attacks grew exponentially, it reports.

The latest incidents doubled in quantity and their average length has increased by 487 per cent. These statistics confirm Kaspersky Lab experts’ hypothesis that hackers are evolving their techniques and are now able to launch longer attacks, which are harder to organise.

Alexey Kiselev, business development manager on the Kaspersky DDoS Protection team said the DDoS attack market is changing.

“New DDoS services appear to have replaced ones shut down by law enforcement agencies.

“As organisations implement basic countermeasures, attackers target them with long-lasting attacks.

“It is difficult to say if the number of attacks will continue to grow, but their complexity is showing no signs of slowing down.

“We recommend that organisations prepare themselves effectively, in order to withstand sophisticated DDoS attacks.”