"I wonder how they did the adaptive thing. DDoS attacks are already adaptive by definition. I'm guessing they're trying to emphasize how utterly massive it was and spread over multiple protocols?"
Adaptivity in a DoS attack could take many forms, at a low level in the OSI it certainly could aim to simply overwhelm the hardware/network bandwidth on a variety of different protocols which is pretty old school. Newer DoS attacks rely upon attacking higher layer protocols (like HTTP) and exploiting weaknesses in those...such as in this article
. If you look at the last bullet, or better yet download the report at DR, you will see that there are many ways to exploit higher layer protocols without having to rely upon brute force.
"Putin is back and seemingly more powerful than ever. The next few years will sure be interesting."
Well as the Chinese say, "May you live in interesting times."