Hackers are seeking to distract IT departments, not shutdown networks.
Distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are becoming shorter and more frequent, according to a report from Corero Network Security.
An analysis of attacks on the firm’s firewall found that hackers were attempting to hit the firm’s customers with denial-of-service attacks almost four times a day on average, with nearly all attacks lasting half an hour or less.
Dave Larson, CTO and VP of product at Corero, said: "Denial of service attacks have been a threat to service availability for more than a decade.
"However, more recently these attacks have become increasingly sophisticated and multi-vector in nature, overcoming traditional defence mechanisms or reactive countermeasures."
Just under four-fifths of attacks in the final quarter of 2014 were also found to have a speed of less than 5Gbps, leading Corero to believe there were intended as a distraction.
Smaller attacks leave enough bandwidth for hackers to probe other points in the network, whilst bigger attacks would render the entire service inaccessible for both legitimate visitors and hackers alike.
Larson added: "As our customers’ experiences indicate, the regularity of these attacks simply highlights that there is a growing need for protection that will properly defeat DDoS attacks at the network edge, and ensure the accessibility required for the Internet connected business, or the Internet providers themselves."