A tiny botnet launched the largest DDoS attack on record

Web performance firm Cloudflare says it mitigated a record-breaking distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack last week that peaked at 26 million request per second (rps). It was caused by a small but powerful botnet of just 5,067 devices.   

This attack didn’t originate from compromised low-bandwidth Internet of Things devices like many other DDoS or junk traffic attacks on websites, but rather from cloud service providers, according to Cloudflare. 

That it came from cloud provider infrastructure suggests the attackers hijacked higher-bandwidth virtual machines and servers, the firm suggests.  

This attack was over HTTPS, the secure version of the web, similar to a DDoS attack it mitigated in April. As the firm explains, HTTPS DDoS attacks are more computationally expensive for the attacker and victim due to the cost of establishing an encrypted Transport Layer Security (TLS) connection over the internet. Among other things, Cloudflare provides customers SSL/TLS certificates to website owners.     

The attack targeted one customer that used Cloudflare’s free plan, which offers DDoS protection, a content delivery network, and an SSL certificate. According two Cloudflare’s graph, the attack lasted lasted less than two minutes, climbing to a peak and then fading over the course of 10 seconds. 

“We’ve seen very

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