DDoS Attack

According to recent reports by NSFOCUS and Incapsula, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are ever increasing in number, sophistication and capability. Both reports present attack trends and methodologies used by hackers in recent times.

NSFOCUS’s findings are based on 244,703 DDoS incidents observed over past one year. It reveals that Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) are carried out by using DDoS as a divergent tactic. DDoS attacks are fast becoming a service as well with anyone having a computer and a credit card to be able to carry out the attacks.

Frank Ip, vice president of U.S. operations for NSFOCUS said “DDoS is quickly becoming a common pain point, and businesses need to take this threat seriously if they expect to provide uninterrupted service to their customers.” He added “In 2013, cyberattackers gave the market a lesson in ‘hackernomics’ and showcased the myriad ways in which they have evolved their attack strategies to deploy sophisticated techniques that will inflict the maximum amount of damage using the fewest resources. The more we learn about attack mentality, the stronger our defenses become.”

Both NSFOCUS and Incapsula explain the recent trend is that of a guerrilla warfare with hit-and-run strategy involving shorter but more frequent attacks causing a disruption rather than destruction. Domain Name System (DNS) attacks are the easiest and cheapest to launch as anti-DDoS technologies are well capable of covering other attack vectors.

Incapsula’s findings are based on tracking 154 million DDoS bot sessions over a period of five months. According to them, there has been a staggering increase of 240 percent at application level DDoS bot traffic with largest number of botnets, more than 25 percent, located in India, China and Iran.

Botnets are also more sophisticated now with 29.9 percent able to execute JavaScript and almost 40 percent of them are carrying out more than 50 targets per month. Of all attacks, large scale SYN floods are 51.5 percent and an overwhelming number of attacks, about 81 percent, are multi-vector threats. Bots have attained the capability of bypassing filtering throughJavaScript and cookies in 2013 and in 2014 about 30 percent of the bots can accept and store cookies.

NSFOCUS warns of Network Time Protocol (NTP) attacks which can be devastating and Incapsula’s findings reveal that NTP attacks are on the rise. These attacks could result in an unprecedented increase in bandwidth levels virtually choking the networks.



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