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Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks continue to be one of the most pernicious threats to the delivery of services over the Internet. Not only are DDoS attacks present in many guises, they are also continuously evolving as new vulnerabilities are exploited. Hence accurate detection of these attacks still remains a challenging problem and a necessity for ensuring high-end network security. An intrinsic challenge in addressing this problem is to effectively distinguish these Denial-of-Service attacks from similar looking Flash Events (FEs) created by legitimate clients. A considerable overlap between the general characteristics of FEs and DDoS attacks makes it difficult to precisely separate these two classes of Internet activity. In this paper we propose parameters which can be used to explicitly distinguish FEs from DDoS attacks and analyse two real-world publicly available datasets to validate our proposal. Our analysis shows that even though FEs appear very similar to DDoS attacks, there are several subtle dissimilarities which can be exploited to separate these two classes of events.