Category Archives: DDoS News

How to securely deploy medical devices within a healthcare facility

The risks insecure medical devices pose to patient safety are no longer just theoretical, and compromised electronic health records may haunt patients forever. A surgical robot, pacemaker, or other life critical device being rendered non-functional would give a whole new, and wholly undesirable, meaning to denial of service. Malware like MEDJACK has been used to infect medical devices and use them as staging grounds to attack medical records systems. IoT ransomware is on the rise … More ?

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How to securely deploy medical devices within a healthcare facility

Mysterious Hajime botnet has pwned 300,000 IoT devices

The Dark Knight of malware’s purpose remains unknown Hajime – the “vigilante” IoT worm that blocks rival botnets – has built up a compromised network of 300,000 malware-compromised devices, according to new figures from Kaspersky Lab.…

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Mysterious Hajime botnet has pwned 300,000 IoT devices

DDoS still the mainstay of Aussie cyber crime

New study finds denial of service still king despite ransomware rise. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are still the tool of choice for cybercriminals targeting Australian organisations despite the recent influx of ransomware. The study from NTT Group found that 22 per cent of all attacks targeting Australia were related to denial of service. This was only topped by service specific attacks at 23 per cent and was above website application attacks at 20 per cent. Locally, three industries were targeted in 81 per cent of all attacks, finance at 34 per cent, retail at 27 per cent and followed by business and professional services at 20 per cent. The study found that more than 93 per cent of malware detected in the country was some form of Trojan. Ransomware falls into the Trojan family and is the most prevalent form of malware attack in Australia. The country is also experiencing a change in attacks on applications according to the report with over 70 per cent of application attacks against local companies attempting remote code execution. The study analysed data collected from NTT Group’s operating companies, including NTT Security, Dimension Data, NTT Communications and NTT Data, and data from the Global Threat Intelligence Center (formerly known as SERT), between 1 October 2015 and 31 September 2016. The combined entities have a view of more than 40 per cent of global internet traffic. The report backed up findings from similar studies which showed ransomware is now the most prevalent form of cybercrime. Further, the study found that 77 per cent of ransomware analysed was targeting one of four market sectors. These Included: business and professional services (28 per cent); government (19 per cent), health care (15 per cent) and retail (15 per cent). The report also found that despite attention being paid to attacks on newer vulnerabilities, many cyber criminals rely on less technical means to achieve their objectives. The phishing email is still by far the dominant method for malware delivery, responsible for 73 per cent of all malware delivered to organisations, with government (65 per cent) and business and professional services (25 per cent) as the industry sectors most likely to be attacked at a global level. In terms of phishing attacks by country, the US leads the pack at 41 per cent, closely followed by The Netherlands with 38 per cent. France was in third place well behind the top two with 5 per cent. For industry specific attacks, finance was the most commonly attacked industry globally, subject to 14 per cent of all attacks. The finance sector was the only sector to appear in the top three across all geographic regions analysed, while manufacturing appeared in the top three in five of the six regions. Government (14 per cent) and manufacturing (13 per cent ) were the next two most commonly attacked industry sectors. “Our end goal is not to create fear, uncertainty and doubt or to over-complicate the current state of the threat landscape, but to make cybersecurity interesting and inclusive for anyone facing the challenges of security attacks, not just security professionals,” NTT Security Vice President Threat Intelligence & Incident Response, Steven Bullitt, said. “We want to ensure everyone is educated about these issues and understands that they have a personal responsibility when it comes to the protection of their organisation, and that the organisation has an obligation to help them do so,” he said. Source: https://www.arnnet.com.au/article/618243/ddos-still-mainstay-aussie-cyber-crime/

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DDoS still the mainstay of Aussie cyber crime

Brit behind Titanium Stresser DDoS malware sent to chokey

20-year-old Herts man slapped with two years’ stripey suntan time A Hertfordshire man has been jailed for two years after netting nearly £400,000 from the malware he wrote as a 15-year-old student.…

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Brit behind Titanium Stresser DDoS malware sent to chokey

How can you prepare for a cyber attack?

Keeping your data secure is more important than ever, but it seems like there’s a new wide-scale data breach every other week. In this article, David Mytton discusses what developers can do to prepare for what’s fast becoming inevitable. Cyber security isn’t something that can be ignored anymore or treated as a luxury concern: recent cyber attacks in the UK have shown that no one is immune. The stats are worrying – in 2016, two thirds of large businesses had a cyber attack or breach, according to Government research. Accenture paints a bleaker picture suggesting that two thirds of companies globally face these attacks weekly, or even daily. According to the Government’s 2016 cyber security breaches survey, only a third of firms have cyber security policies in place and only 10% have an emergency plan. Given management isn’t handling the threat proactively, developers and operations specialists are increasingly having to take the initiative on matters of cybersecurity. This article covers some essential priorities developers should be aware of if they want their company to be prepared for attack. Know your plan There’s no predicting when a cyber attack might come, whether it be in the form of a DDoS, a virus, malware or phishing. It’s therefore important to be constantly vigilant, and prepared for incidents when they do occur. Senior leadership in your company should be proactive when laying out a plan in the event of an attack or other breach, however this might not always be the case. No matter what your position is within your company, there are preemptive actions you can take on a regular basis to ensure that you’re adequately prepared. If you’re in an Ops team, make sure you’re encouraging your team to test your backups regularly. There’s little use having backups if you’re unable to actually restore from them, as GitLab learned to their detriment earlier in the year. Use simulations and practice runs to ensure that everyone on your team knows what they’re doing, and have a checklist in place for yourself and your colleagues to make sure that nothing gets missed. For example, a DDoS attack may begin with a monitoring alert to let you know your application is slow. Your checklist would start with the initial diagnostics to pinpoint the cause, but as soon as you discover it is a DDoS attack then the security response plan should take over. If you happen to be on-call, make sure you’ve got all the tools you need to act promptly to handle the issue. This might involve letting your more senior colleagues know about the issue, as well as requesting appropriate assistance from your security vendors. Communication is always one of the deciding factors in whether a crisis can be contained effectively. As a developer or operations specialist, it’s important to be vocal with your managers about any lack of clarity in your plan, and ensure that there are clear lines of communication and responsibility so that, when the worst does occur, you and your colleagues feel clear to jump into action quickly. Remember your limits It might sound obvious, but it’s worth remembering: in a cyber attack or catastrophic incident, there is only so much you yourself can do. Too many developers and operations staff fall prey to a culture of being ‘superheroes’, encouraged (often through beer and pizza) to stay as late as they can and work as long as possible on fixes to particular issues. The truth is, humans make mistakes. Amazon’s recent AWS S3 outage is a good example: swathes of the internet were taken offline due to one typo. If you’re on-call while a cyber attack occurs there’s no denying you’re likely to work long hours at odd times of the day, and this can put a real strain on you, both mentally and physically. This strain can make it much harder for you to actually concentrate on what you’re doing, and no amount of careful contingency planning can compensate for that. At Server Density we’re keenly aware that employee health and well being is critical to maintaining business infrastructure, especially in the event of a crisis. That’s why we support movements like HumanOps, which promote a wider awareness of the importance of employee health, from the importance of taking regular breaks to ergonomic keyboards. All too often people working in IT forget that the most business-critical hardware they look after isn’t servers or routers, it’s the health and well being of the people on the front lines looking after these systems. Cyber attacks are stressful on everyone working in an organisation, and the IT teams take the brunt of the strain. However, with careful planning, clear lines of delegation and an appreciation of the importance of looking after each other’s health, developers and operations specialists should be able to weather the storm effectively and recover business assets effectively. Source: https://jaxenter.com/can-prepare-cyber-attack-133447.html

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How can you prepare for a cyber attack?

Locky ransomware makes a comeback, courtesy of Necurs botnet

The Necurs botnet has, once again, begun pushing Locky ransomware on unsuspecting victims. The botnet, which flip-flops from sending penny stock pump-and-dump emails to booby-trapped files that lead to malware (usually Locky or Dridex), has been spotted slinging thousand upon thousand of emails in the last three or four days. “Talos has seen in excess of 35K emails in the last several hours associated with this newest wave of Locky,” Cisco Talos researchers noted on … More ?

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Locky ransomware makes a comeback, courtesy of Necurs botnet

Linksys Routers Vulnerable to DDoS Attack

Flaws in the routers’ firmware could let hackers access configuration settings and execute remote commands. Linksys said it’s working on a patch. Linksys this week identified several vulnerabilities in its router firmware that allow hackers to bypass authentication and perform denial of service (DDoS) attacks. The company said it is working on a fix for the vulnerabilities, which were discovered by security researchers at IOActive in January and affect more than two dozen models of Linksys wireless routers in the WRT and EAxxx series. IOActive found 10 separate issues in the Linksys firmware, including high-risk vulnerabilities that could let hackers exploit routers using default credentials to log in, view router settings, and execute remote commands. “Two of the security issues we identified allow unauthenticated attackers to create a Denial-of-Service (DoS) condition on the router,” IOActive researcher Tao Sauvage wrote in a blog post. “By sending a few requests or abusing a specific API, the router becomes unresponsive and even reboots. The Admin is then unable to access the web admin interface and users are unable to connect until the attacker stops the DoS attack.” The vulnerabilities, which are similar to those found in many other Internet of Things (IoT) devices, are particularly worrisome because they could be used in future attacks of the sort that took large swaths of the internet offline for several hours last fall. Sauvage said that “11 percent of the active devices exposed were using default credentials, making them particularly susceptible to an attacker easily authenticating and potentially turning the routers into bots, similar to what happened in last year’s Mirai Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.” Linksys published a full list of the router models that are affected, and suggested that owners change the default password for their administrator account. The company said it is working to provide a firmware update for all of the affected models, but didn’t offer details on when it would be ready. Source: http://www.pcmag.com/news/353228/linksys-routers-vulnerable-to-ddos-attacks

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Linksys Routers Vulnerable to DDoS Attack

New DDoS Attacks Use Far Fewer Infected Hosts

Akamai Technologies has identified a new attack method generating extremely large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against educational institutions and other types of organizations but without the millions of infected hosts typically seen in these scenarios. In a threat advisory recently published by the content delivery network company’s security intelligence response team, researchers described a reflection and amplification method that can produce “significant attack bandwidth” through “significantly fewer hosts.” What’s required are open ports allowing LDAP traffic. The company’s security experts have detected and mitigated a total of 50 Connection-less Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (CLDAP) reflection attacks. CLDAP was intended as an “efficient alternative to LDAP queries done over Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). Most of the attacks seen in the wild used CLDAP reflection exclusively. Twice, education has been the target. However, the primary victims have been in the software and technology industry, where 21 attacks have taken place, and the gaming segment, which has had 15 attacks. The largest of the attacks hit its target with a peak bandwidth of 24 gigabits per second and a top count of packets per second of 2 million. The source port was 386, the port used by Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). According to the report, signatures of the attack suggest that it’s “capable of impressive amplification.” For example, Akamai security people obtained sample malicious LDAP reflection queries that had a payload of only 52 bytes. Yet the attack data payload was 3,662 bytes, meaning that the amplification factor was 73. More typically, the average amplification rate was 57, according to the researchers. The attacks are launched using “attack scripts,” usually written in C and with only slight variations from one vector to another. When the script is run, the target IP becomes the source of all the 52-byte query payloads. These are then sent rapidly to every server in the supplied reflector list. From there, the CLDAP servers do as they’re designed and reply to the query. As a result, the report described, “the target of this attack must deal with a flood of unsolicited CLDAP responses.” The attack is “fueled” by the number of servers on the internet with port 389 open and listening. Once a server has been identified as a viable source, it’s added to the list of reflectors. The best mitigation, suggested the report, is to filter the port in question. “Ingress filtering of the CLDAP port from the internet will prevent discovery and subsequent abuse of this service,” the report noted. Another option is to apply rules, which won’t stop the outbreak, but will alert system administers when an attempt is made to use the systems as part of a reflection attack. Source: https://campustechnology.com/articles/2017/04/20/new-ddos-attacks-use-far-fewer-infected-hosts.aspx?admgarea=news

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New DDoS Attacks Use Far Fewer Infected Hosts

How The New York Times Handled Unprecedented Election-Night Traffic Spike

When he woke up the morning of October 21, 2016, Nick Rockwell did the same thing he had done first thing every morning since The New York Times hired him as CTO: he opened The Times’ app on his phone. Nothing loaded. The app was down along with BBC, CNN, Fox News, The Guardian, and a long list of other web services, taken out by the largest DDoS attack in history of the internet. An army of infected IP cameras, DVRs, modems, and other connected devices – the Mirai botnet – had flooded servers of the DNS registrar Dyn in 17 data centers, halting a huge number of internet services that depended on it for letting their users’ computers know how to find them online. The outage had started only about five minutes before Rockwell saw the blank screen on his phone. His team kicked off a standard process that was in place for such outages, failing over to the Times’ internal DNS hosted in two of its four data centers in the US. The mobile app and the main site were back online about 45 minutes after they had gone down. While going through the fairly routine recovery process, however, something was really worrying Rockwell. The thing was, he didn’t know whether the attack was directed at many targets or at the Times specifically. If it was the latter, the effect could be catastrophic; its internal DNS wouldn’t hold against a major DDoS for more than five seconds. “It would’ve been incredibly easy to DDoS our infrastructure,” he said in a phone interview with Data Center Knowledge. His team had been a few months deep into fixing the vulnerability, but they weren’t finished. “We were OK [in the end], but we were vulnerable during that time.” The process to fix it started as they were preparing for the 2016 presidential election. Election night is the biggest event for every major news outlet, and Rockwell was determined to avoid the 2012 election night fiasco, when the site went down, unable to handle the spike in traffic. One of the steps the team decided to do in preparation for November 2016 was to fully integrate a CDN (Content Delivery Network). CDN services, such as Akamai, CloudFlare, or CDN services by cloud providers Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, store their clients’ most popular content in data centers close to where many of their end users are located – so-called edge data centers — from where “last-mile” internet service providers deliver that content to its final destinations. A CDN essentially becomes a highly distributed extension of your network, adding to it compute, storage, and bandwidth capacity in many metros around the world. That a CDN had not been integrated into the organization’s infrastructure came as a big surprise to Rockwell, who joined in 2015, after 10 months as CTO at another big publisher, Condé Nast. While at Condé Nast, he switched the publisher from a major CDN provider to a lesser-known CDN by a company called Fastly. He has since become an unapologetically big fan of the San Francisco-based startup, which now also delivers content to The New York Times users around the world. Being highly distributed by design puts CDNs in good position to help their customers handle big traffic spikes, be it legitimate traffic generated by a big news event or a malicious DDoS attack. (Rockwell said he did wonder, as the Dyn attack was unfolding, whether it was a rehearsal for election night.) Fastly ensured that on the night Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton, the Times rolled without incident through a traffic spike of unprecedented size for the publisher: an 8,371 percent increase in the number of people visiting the site simultaneously, according to the CTO. The CDN has also mostly absorbed the much higher levels of day-to-day traffic The Times has seen since the election as it covers the Trump administration. The six-year-old startup, which this year crossed the $100 million annualized revenue run-rate threshold, designed its platform to give users a detailed picture of the way their traffic flows through its CDN and lots of control. Artur Bergman, Fastly’s founder and CEO, said the platform enables a user to treat the edge of their network the same way they treat their own data centers or cloud infrastructure. In your own data center you have full control of your tools for improving your network’s security and performance (things like firewalls and load balancers), Bergman explained in an interview with Data Center Knowledge. While you maintain that level of control in the public cloud, you don’t necessarily have it at the edge, he said. Traditionally, CDNs have offered customers little visibility into their infrastructure, so even differentiating between a legitimate traffic spike and a DDoS attack has been hard to do quickly. Fastly gives users log access in real-time so they can see exactly what is happening to their edge nodes and make critical decisions quickly. The startup today unveiled an edge cloud platform, designed to enable developers to deploy code in edge data centers instantly, without having to worry about scaling their edge infrastructure as their applications grow. It also announced a collaboration with Google Cloud Platform, pairing its platform with the giant’s enterprise cloud infrastructure services around the world. GCP is one of two cloud providers The New York Times is using. The other one is Amazon Web Services. Today, the publisher’s infrastructure consists of three leased data centers in Newark, Boston, and Seattle, and one facility it owns and operates on its own, located in the New York Times building in Times Square, Rockwell said. The company uses a virtual private cloud by AWS and some of its public cloud services in addition to running some applications in the Google Cloud. This setup is not staying for long, however. Rockwell’s team is working to shut down the three leased data centers, moving most of its workloads onto GCP and AWS, with Fastly managing content delivery at the edge. Google’s cloud is also going to play a much bigger role than it does today. The plan is to run apps that depend on Oracle databases in AWS, while everything else, save for a few exceptions (primarily packaged enterprise IT apps), will run in app containers on GCP, orchestrated by Kubernetes. As he works to sort out what he in a conference presentation referred to as the “jumbled mess” that is The Times’ current infrastructure, Rockwell no longer worries about DDoS attacks. Luckily for his team, there was no major DDoS attack on The Times between the day he came on board and the day Fastly started delivering the publisher’s content to its readers. Whether there was one after Fastly was implemented is irrelevant to him. “It’s no longer something I have to think about.” Source: http://www.thewhir.com/web-hosting-news/how-the-new-york-times-handled-unprecedented-election-night-traffic-spike

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How The New York Times Handled Unprecedented Election-Night Traffic Spike

Hajime IoT worm infects devices to head off Mirai

Mirai is the name of the worm that has taken control of many IoT devices around the world and used them to mount DDoS attacks, the most high-profile of which was directed against US-based DNS provider Dyn and resulted in many websites and online services being inaccessible for hours on end. Its source code was leaked by the author, which lead to the creation of more botnets, and an increased fear that we’ll soon witness … More ?

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Hajime IoT worm infects devices to head off Mirai