Information technology and services company Prolexic says it recently helped mitigate the largest DDoS attack of 2011 thus far, seeing bandwidth peaks as high as 45Gbps during the week-long ordeal. Stretching from November 5th through the 12th, the attack saw an Asia-based e-commerce company hit with packet volumes three times that of any event this year — 69 million packets per second at its worst — with the globally-coordinated incident using traffic primarily originating from China. While sabotage by competitors or frustrated employees are possible motives, Prolexic cites particular concern for online retailers during the coming holiday season. The company has seen e-commerce transactions specifically targeted, sometimes even with state approval, due to the lack of taxes collected from online purchases.

The urgency behind the report should be taken with a grain of salt — Prolexic does provide services that protect against DDoS attacks, after all — but there's no doubting the trend towards increasingly more savvy and complex assaults on sites and web services. In fact, as bad as these numbers sound, this year's attack isn't even the worst we've seen: Prolexic competitor Arbor monitored a DDoS attack in 2010 that registered peak bandwidths greater than 100Gbps.