Hacking attempts come amid diplomatic crisis in the Gulf Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera yesterday said it was being targeted with systematic hacking attempts.…
DDoS attack brings Qatar’s Al Jazeera website to its knees
Hacking attempts come amid diplomatic crisis in the Gulf Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera yesterday said it was being targeted with systematic hacking attempts.…
DDoS attack brings Qatar’s Al Jazeera website to its knees
Despite detecting an increase in large distributed denial of service attacks in the first quarter of 2017, Corero Network Security has reported that the greatest DDoS threat currently comes from smaller attacks designed to either hide other malicious activities or set the stage for future malicious actions. Corero, which specializes in DDoS prevention, noted in its just released Q4 2016 – Q1 2017 Trends Report that these “sub-saturation” attacks typically fall within a certain sweet spot: They are short enough in duration and small enough in size to avoid detection by mitigation tools, yet they are still significant enough to serve the attacker’s purpose. According to the company, many legacy and homegrown mitigation tools will not respond to attacks that are less than one Gbps in size and under than 10 minutes in duration, because they do not meet a certain pre-programmed threshold. “…They are just disruptive enough to knock a firewall or intrusion prevention system (IPS) offline so that the hackers can target, map and infiltrate a network to install malware and engage data exfiltration activity,” said Ashley Stephenson, CEO at Corero Network Security, in a company press release. In other cases, the attackers may simply be testing a network for weaknesses, in anticipation of a future malicious action down the line. But even if the DDoS attack is detected, network administrators may too busy responding to the outage to realize that there is actually a bigger threat at hand. In an email to SC Media, Stephanie Weagle, vice president at Corero, cited UK-based telecom company TalkTalk as a recent example. In 2015, hackers stole the company’s customer data using a DDoS attack as an effecitve distraction. “Short DDoS attacks might seem harmless, in that they don’t cause extended periods of downtime. But IT teams who choose to ignore them are effectively leaving their doors wide open for malware or ransomware attacks, data theft or other more serious intrusions,” Stephenson explained. “Just like the mythological Trojan Horse, these attacks deceive security teams by masquerading as a harmless bystander – in this case, a flicker of internet outage – while hiding their more sinister motives.” According to the report, 80 percent of attempted DDoS attacks that were launched against Corero customers in Q1 2017 were less than 1 Gbps in volume, while 71 percent lasted 10 minutes or less. In Q4, 77 percent of DDoS attacks were less than 1 Gbps in volume, while 73 percent were 10 minutes or less in duration. While smaller attacks remain the norm, Corero did see a 55 percent rise in DDoS attacks that were 10 Gbps or larger in Q1, compared to the previous quarter. Corero customers averaged 124 attacks per month in Q1, an increase of nine percent over Q4 2016. Source: https://www.scmagazine.com/mini-but-mighty-beware-minor-ddos-attacks-that-mask-graver-threats-warns-report/article/666432/
The greatest DDoS risk for organisations is the barrage of short, low volume attacks which mask more serious network intrusions. Despite several headline-dominating, high-volume DDoS attacks over the past year, the vast majority (98%) of the DDoS attack attempts against Corero customers during Q1 2017 were less than 10 Gbps per second in volume. In addition, almost three quarters (71%) of the attacks mitigated by Corero lasted 10 minutes or less. Due to their small … More ?
Rise of IoT globally is still in its early days hence the level of protection is on the lower end. We all love Internet of Things (IoT), isn’t it? It has brought ‘things’ a.k.a devices, around us to life – from watch, bed, luggage, bulb and clothes to even buildings (in some time). But that love is now turning into a spoiler. The smart band or watch on your wrist and other IoT electronics are being hacked by malware attackers to turn them into an army of zombie machines, and launch botnet attacks. Much like October 2016 attack that used IoT webcams and video recorders to block user access to many sites including Twitter, Reddit, Spotify, etc., by spamming the domain name service used by them. Read on as Dhruv Khanna, CEO, Data Resolve – cyber intelligence company shares insights on it. Distributed denialof-service (DDoS) attacks aren’t new. So using IoT devices are of a new type? There are multiple types. First is the conventional botnets that target your laptop and desktop servers to track your online activity. Second is the enterprise specific attacks called distributed denial-ofservice attack(DDoS) when botnets blocks all your access to the device. Third is where your activity and data is captured and sent to a third party. Fourth is where your device is remotely controlled and access is blocked until some money is paid to the attacker. IoT botnets are like DDoS attacks that not just use computers in a conventional botnet way but also IoT devices to break into information and data. But why IoT devices have become favourites to launch attacks? Rise of IoT globally is still in its early days hence the level of protection is on the lower end. Moreover there are constraints in IoT devices such as using basic version of the operating system, less processing, storage and computational power in terms of setting up anti-virus and firewall and other security applications to them. This makes them an easy target for attackers to use to them as botnet for attack in comparison to using just computers and laptops which are relatively better secured. For e.g. Mirai botnet that target consumer devices like remote cameras, and home appliances. The ecosystem in India too isn’t making efforts to be ready. Right? That’s because IoT here is beginning to take its first step, hence, the awareness around it is not significant. On the enterprise side before pushing business services on IOT devices, as a best practice chief information security officers of the company eventually would have to frame a security manual and controls around IOT devices in terms of IOT device on-boarding, incident monitoring and control. Also, there is a need of regulation to control and monitor them. Are we better off without IoT? Not really. Advantage of IoT is that it is part of the cloud ecosystem. Securing the cloud is as good as securing the device. That’s why people are not spending too much on the device level but more on the cloud side. In a typical malware attack you are not able to control the source of attack but in IoT device you can as you know where your service is based on the cloud. But if your cloud application is compromised, it would be difficult to trace it. So, this is next level of cyber security challenge? It is certainly the next level of attack. For large businesses, it will be a significant hit on their brand along with data. If10,000 of ant vendor devices in the market get compromised then it will impact on the company. It is not impacting just you as an individual but all the devices that are interconnected to your device and vice versa. Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/295274
Why IoT Botnets Might be the Next Big Worry ?
Five Democratic senators are seeking an FBI investigation into possible cyberattacks on the Federal Communication Commission’s online comment system. The FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System crashed in the early hours of May 8 in what the agency called “deliberate attempts by external actors to bombard” the commission and render its systems unusable by legitimate commenters. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) want acting FBI director Andrew McCabe to make an investigation of that May disruption a priority, and also called for an investigation into the source of the attack. The senators’ letter emphasized that they were especially troubled by the disruption of the process of public commentary given that public participation is crucial to the integrity of the FCC’s regulatory process. The request comes as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is moving to roll back Obama-era net neutrality regulations over the objections of Democrats in Congress and internet freedom activists. “Any cyberattack on a federal network is very serious,” the senators wrote. “This particular attack may have denied the American people the opportunity to contribute to what is supposed to be a fair and transparent process, which in turn may call into question the integrity of the FCC’s rulemaking proceedings.” The senators seek a reply by June 23. It’s possible, however, that what the FCC is reporting as a DDoS attack was in fact a traffic spike spurred by TV comedian John Oliver, who urged viewers to register their opposition to the net neutrality rollback in an May 7 broadcast. The partisan fight over FCC actions on net neutrality has cast a political shadow over the attack, the follow-up and any future investigation. Three of the letter’s five signatories (Schatz, Markey, Franken) also signed a May 17 open letter lambasting the FCC’s possible net neutrality rollback. Wyden and Schatz also sought clarification from Pai about the ability of the agency to protect against DDoS attacks in a separate May 9 letter. The two sought details on the user capacity of the FCC’s website and requested a reply by June 8. Meanwhile, the FCC is accepting comments on its net neutrality proceeding through Aug. 16. Source: https://fcw.com/articles/2017/05/31/fcc-ddos-senators-berliner.aspx
Lawmakers seek answers on alleged FCC DDoS attack
Small businesses face a range of cyber threats daily and are often more vulnerable than the larger organisations. Small businesses that see themselves as too small to be targeted by cyber criminals are putting themselves at direct risk. In fact, small businesses are at an equal, if not greater risk of being victims of cyber crime – two thirds of small UK firms were attacked by hackers between 2014-2016, according to a report from the Federation of Small Businesses. Cyber crime can cause massive damage to a young business’s reputation, result in loss of assets and incur expenses to fix the damage caused. These attacks could mean the difference between cutting a profit or going bust. Legal action could also be taken if businesses are found to have failed to put proper safeguards in place. When new data protection laws are introduced in 2018 under GDPR, complacent businesses risk fines of up to £17 million or 4% of annual turnover (whichever is higher) if they suffer a data breach. So what can small businesses do to protect themselves and the sensitive data of their customers? These are 7 nightmare cyber security threats and how to secure against them. Threat 1: internal attacks This shouldn’t come as a surprise to readers, but internal attacks are one of the largest cyber security threats facing small businesses today. Rogue employees, especially those with access to networks, sensitive data or admin accounts, are capable of causing real damage. Some theories even suggest that the notorious 2014’s Sony Pictures hack – typically linked to North Korea – was actually an insider attack. To reduce the risk of insider threats, businesses must identify privileged accounts – accounts with the ability to significantly affect or access internal systems. Next, terminate those that are no longer in use or are connected with employees no longer working in the business. Businesses can also implement tools to track the activity of privileged accounts. This allows for a swift response if malicious activity from an account is detected before the damage can be dealt. Threat 2: phishing and spear phishing Despite constant warnings from the cyber security industry, people still fall victim to phishing every day. As cyber crime has become well-funded and increasingly sophisticated, phishing remains one of the most effective methods used by criminals to introduce malware into businesses. Spear phishing is a targeted form of phishing in which phishing emails are designed to appear to originate from someone the recipient knows and trusts – like senior management or a valued client. To target victims deemed ‘high value’ — i.e. those with access to privileged accounts — cyber criminals may even study their social media to gain valuable insights which can then be used to make their phishing emails appear highly authentic. If an employee is tricked by a malicious link in a phishing email, they might unleash a ransomware attack on their small business. Once access is gained, ransomware quickly locks down business computers as it spreads across a network. Until a ransom is paid, businesses will be unable to access critical files and services. To mitigate the risk posed by phishing – and ransomware – organisations must ensure staff are aware of the dangers and know how to spot a phishing email. Businesses must also ensure they have secure backups of their critical data. Because ransomware locks down files permanently (unless businesses want to cough up the ransom) backups are a crucial safeguard to recover from the hack. But as ransomware attacks are on the rise, prevention remains better than treatment. Education is the best way of ensuring protection for small businesses. Threat 3: a dangerous lack of cyber security knowledge Entire cyber security strategies, policies and technologies are worthless if employees lack cyber security awareness. Without any kind of drive to ensure employees possess a basic level of cyber security knowledge, any measure or policy implemented will be undermined. A well-targeted spear phishing email could convince an employee to yield their password and user information. An IT team can’t be looking over everyone’s shoulders at once. Because of this, education and training are essential to reduce the risk of cyber crime. Some employees may not know (or care enough) to protect themselves online, and this can put businesses at risk. Hold training sessions to help employees manage passwords (hint: two-factor authentication for business accounts) and identify phishing attempts. Then provide support to ensure employees have the resources they need to be secure. Some small businesses will also consider up-skilling members of their IT teams in incident handling, often through popular GCIH training from security vendor GIAC. Incident handling professionals are able to manage security incidents as they happen, and speed the process of recovery if hacks do occur. Ultimately, even a basic level of knowledge and awareness could mean the difference between being hacked or avoiding the risk altogether. Threat 4: DDoS attacks Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have overwhelmed some of the largest websites in the world, including Reddit, Twitter, and Netflix. DDoS attacks, which ambush businesses with massive amounts of web traffic, slow websites to a crawl and, more often than not, force crucial services offline. If a small businesses relies on a website or other online service to function, the outages caused by DDoS attacks will be catastrophic. Most DDoS attacks last between 6-24 hours and cause an estimated £30,000 per hour, according to data from Incapsula, a DDoS prevention firm. Whilst businesses can’t stop a website or service being targeted in a DDoS attack, they can work to absorb some of the increased traffic, giving them more time to form a response or filter out the spam data. Ensuring there is extra bandwidth available, creating a DDoS response plan in the event of an attack or using a DDoS mitigation service are all great steps towards reducing the impact of an attack. But that’s just scratching the surface of DDoS mitigation – here are more ways to prevent a DDoS attack. Threat 5: malware Malware is a blanket term that encompasses any software that gets installed on a machine to perform unwanted tasks for the benefit of a third party. Ransomware is a type of malware, but others exist, including spyware, adware, bots and Trojans. To prevent malware from taking hold, businesses should invest in solid anti-virus technology. Plus, operating systems, firewalls and firmware, and previously mentioned anti-virus software must be kept up-to-date. If services are outdated or not updated regularly, businesses are at a serious risk. Just look at the damage caused when malware infected the UK’s National Health Service through an exploit within an outdated version of Windows XP. And that was just one of the high profile targets affected by the global WannaCry ransomware attack. Threat 6: SQL Injection Almost every business relies on websites to operate and many depend entirely on the service they provide online. However, poorly secured websites could be wide open to data theft by cyber criminals. Of the many attacks that can be staged against a website, SQL injection is amongst the most dangerous and even the largest companies fall victim to it. SQL injection refers to vulnerabilities that allow hackers to steal or tamper with the database sitting behind a web application. This is achieved by sending malicious SQL commands to the database server, typically by inputting code into forms – like login or registration pages. It takes a few well-calculated steps to protect against SQL injection. As a precaution, businesses should assume all user-submitted data is malicious, get rid of database functionality that isn’t needed and consider using a web application firewall. For a closer look at SQL injection, take a look at this documentation from Cisco. Properly preventing SQL injection is primarily a responsibility for a web development or security team, but the change has to be driven from the top. Still not convinced? Take a look at this video from Computerphile to see how effective and dangerous SQL injection can be. Threat 7: BYOD Businesses are vulnerable to data theft, especially if employees are using unsecure mobile devices to share or access company data. As more small businesses make use of bring your own device (BYOD) technology, corporate networks could be at risk from unsecured devices carrying malicious applications which could bypass security and access the network from within the company. The solution is nailing down a defined BYOD policy. A comprehensive BYOD policy educates employees on device expectations and allow companies to better monitor email and documents that are being downloaded to company-owned devices. Ensure employee-owned devices can access the business network through a VPN which connects remote BYOD users with the organisation via an encrypted channel. A VPN is crucial if employees are using public WiFi networks to access business data. Public Wi-Fi is notoriously unsecure and provides little protection against criminals that might be watching the transfer of sensitive data. If an attacker does capture encrypted VPN traffic they will only see incomprehensible characters going from you to a VPN server – meaning no sensitive data is leaked. Source: http://www.information-age.com/7-nightmare-cyber-security-threats-smes-secure-123466495/
After the discovery and the fixing of a “crazy bad” remote code execution flaw in the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine earlier this month, now comes another MMPE security update that plugs eight flaws that could lead to either remote code execution or to denial of service. Given that the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine powers a number of Microsoft antimalware software, DoS vulnerabilities should be considered serious, since a successfully exploited vulnerability could prevent the MMPE … More ?
8 RCE, DoS holes in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine plugged
Reality check: Modern businesses rely on their digital capabilities now more than ever. Downtime has become a terrifying thing to even utter, let alone consider. This is why an effective business continuity plan has become a cornerstone in every business, with IT-centric businesses being no exception. Business Continuity is all about identifying what your key products are and what you can do to ensure that business continues as usual even in the case of disruptions or catastrophes, no matter the size or cause. In truth, business continuity planning is not such an alien concept even to regular consumers. Ever planned a holiday? Whenever planning a holiday, we think of the worst case scenarios and how we can come out of them unscathed, without ruining our well-earned trip. We set up plans in case something goes wrong with our ‘core services’ and we’re prepared for it. We search for additional taxi services in the area despite having booked a cab already, or we check for alternate routes should we rent a car. It’s never a good idea to go on a vacation unprepared for something to go wrong, and a business should be no different. Being the largest multi-site data centre provider in Malta, we are experienced in the business of keeping our customers’ systems online at all costs. The ideal IT services provider should strive to deliver a redundant solution in every component within their setup. At BMIT, we take great care in adopting this approach, from upgrading our core infrastructure services all the way to training our technical team to adopt best-practice methods for optimal business continuity management. Improving redundancy should always be the utmost priority when it comes to introducing new products within an IT Services provider’s portfolio. Business continuity planning is not such an alien concept even to regular consumers Studies show that the average total cost of unplanned application downtime per year is €1 billion to €2.5 billion for the Fortune 1000 companies. An hour of infrastructure failure costs an average of €100,000 with the number jumping fivefold to €500,000 to €1m in the case of a critical application failure; certainly not numbers to scoff at. The digital world undergoes changes every day and it is imperative to constantly keep working to ensure that the systems are up-to-date and relevant to the present realities. The introduction of new ranges of systems and services that protect customers against common business continuity pitfalls always helps to cement the provider’s commitment to ensure the clients’ uptime. With the world fast approaching an almost completely digitally-dependent era, the dangers of the dark side of the internet become an ever-present reality for the modern digital business. In recent years Distributed Denial of Service attacks, otherwise known as DDoS attacks, have emerged as one of the most disruptive ways in which a business can be brought down to its knees. DDoS attacks are weapons of mass disruption aimed at paralysing internet systems including networks, websites and servers, resulting in lost revenues, compromised site performance and tarnished reputations. BMIT has had to take these dangers into consideration, especially since even ISPs can be targeted, which would put us at a risk of not being able to provide a connection for our customers. In recent years, we’ve launched a multi-tiered DDoS protection and mitigation system to protect our customers from even the most vicious of DDoS attacks. From our experience in the industry, we learnt that best-practice is for our private network’s bandwidth needs to be sourced from multiple providers and delivered across multiple redundant links in order to eliminate the risks of our customers going offline through an outage. This setup ensures that our clients are hosted on a reliable and certified ISO27001 network which does not rely on a singular connection. At BMIT we offer clients various features which help ensure continuity for their business. We now have a multi-tiered DDoS protection and mitigation system protecting our redundant 40gbps private international network. This network consists of multiple geographically-separated links, each of which can take over traffic load should there be any faults in the other links. Moreover, we have multiple data centres and international points of presence which form a key part of business continuity plans for our customers. Geo-redundancy is a critical aspect of business continuity for international customers, and our presence across countries addresses this. For example, some clients mirror their servers from one data centre to another. In addition, we also offer several backup options as well as managed services options to help our clients achieve a robust business continuity plan. As part of our portfolio, our customers can also tap into several tools to manage their systems, including advanced firewall solutions as well as virtual load-balancing services. Ultimately, each of our redundant service offerings is a step forward in our customers’ pursuit to ensuring their business stays up. Customers’ feedback is vital and should always be taken into consideration. Good business continuity practices are a top priority for clients and usually the main reason why providers with great core infrastructures for business continuity retain customers. Sources: https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20170528/business-news/What-s-business-continuity-management-and-why-does-your-business-need.649236
Imagine a business model with a 95 percent profit margin. As wonderful as this sound, this business is certainly not something that most would want to get into. We’re talking, of course, about the criminal enterprise of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. This form of cyber-crime has grown exponentially over the past few years, giving CIOs and digital business leaders sleepless nights about whether they’ll be the next victim. Powerful DDoS attacks have a devastating effect: flooding web servers and hauling companies offline, causing untold financial and reputational damage. “The popularity of DDoS has spawned a criminal underworld, with thousands of service providers hiding out on the so-called ‘Dark Web’,” explains Arbor Network’s territory manager for Sub-Sahara, Bryan Hamman. These nefarious organisations offer to execute DDoS attacks for as little as just a few dollars. One simply chooses the type of attack (do you want to use web servers or connected botnets?), the magnitude, the duration, and indicates the victim that they’re targeting. “These Dark Web services have made it very simple to enlist the resources needed for a DDoS attack. Self-service portals and bitcoin payment systems guarantee one’s anonymity and eliminate the need for direct contact with the service provider,” says Hamman. He adds that reports and status updates are all published via these portals, allowing customers to track the impact of their attacks. In some cases, there are even bonuses for each attack that’s commissioned – so DDoS providers even have a form of loyalty programme. Soft targets Cyber-security company Kaspersky Lab recently found that the most basic attack (sold at about USD25 per hour) resulted in a profit to the service provider of about USD18 per hour. But the second revenue stream emerges with those DDoS attacks that demand a ransom from companies in return for restoring services and bringing the victim back online. In these cases, profit shares from the ransoms can push the overall profit margins to over 95 percent. The intended victims themselves are priced differently – with the likes of government websites, and organisations known to have some form of defence in place, commanding a much higher premium, notes Hamman. “It’s interesting to note the level of awareness and information held by the DDoS service providers, as they distinguish between the soft targets and the more difficult quests. Those organisations with the most advanced DDoS defences are far less likely to be targeted,” he explains. The answer “With such rich pickings available for cyber-criminals, it shows that the scourge of DDoS isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon,” highlights Hamman. Almost all types of organisations today are totally dependent on connectivity to sustain their business. As we rapidly adopt Cloud architectures and new mobility or virtual office solutions, all of our data, applications and services are only available when we’re connected. So it stands to reason that organisations should ensure they have professional and dedicated DDoS prevention solutions in place. “Companies need to have what we term ‘layered protection’ – incorporating broad DDoS attack detection and mitigation, alongside network visibility and actionable security intelligence.” “By remaining on the cusp of the latest DDoS protection tools, it becomes possible to thwart any attacks from the growing legion of DDoS attackers out there,” he adds. And, when these criminal services are so immediately available for hire, with just a few clicks of the mouse, the threat of DDoS is ever-present for all businesses and industries. By Bryan Hamman, Arbor Network’s territory manager for Sub-Sahara Source: http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2017/05/the-dark-dangerous-and-insanely-profitable-world-of-ddos-attacks/
Information security company Verisign just published its Distributed Denial of Trends Report for Q1 2017. This report talks about changes in the frequency, size, and type of DDoS attack that the company has observed over the first few months of this year. The main takeaway is this: The number of DDoS attacks has plunged by 23 percent compared to the previous quarter. That’s good! However, the average peak attack size has increased by almost 26 percent, making them vastly more potent at taking down websites and critical online infrastructure. That’s bad. The report also notes that attacks are sophisticated in nature, and use several different attack types to take down a website. While 43 percent use just one attack vector, 25 percent use two, and six percent use five. This, obviously, makes it much more difficult to mitigate against. Verisign’s report also talks about the largest DDoS attack observed by the company in Q1. This was a multi-vector attack that peaked at 120 Gbps, and with a throughput of 90 Mpps. Per the report: This attack sent a flood of traffic to the targeted network in excess of 60 Gbps for more than 15 hours. The attackers were very persistent in their attempts to disrupt the victim’s network by sending attack traffic on a daily basis for over two weeks. The attack consisted primarily of TCP SYN and TCP RST floods of varying packet sizes and employed one of the signatures associated with the Mirai IoT botnet. The event also included UDP floods and IP fragments which increased the volume of the attack. So, in short. The attackers were using several different attack types, and they were able to sustain the attack over a long period of time. This shows the attacker has resources, either to create or rent a botnet of that size, and to sustain an attack over two weeks. The fact that DDoS attacks have increased in potency is hardly a surprise. They’ve been getting bigger and bigger, as bad actors figure out they can easily rope insecure Internet of Things (IoT) devices into their botnets. The Mirai botnet, for example, which took down Dyn last year, and with it much of the Internet, consisted of hundreds of thousands of insecure IoT products. The main thing you can gleam from the Verisign report is that DDoS attacks are increasingly professional, for lack of a better word. It’s not 2005 anymore. We’ve moved past the halcyon days of teenagers taking down sites with copies of LOIC they’d downloaded off Rapidshare. Now, it’s more potent. More commoditized. And the people operating them aren’t doing it for shits and giggles. Source: https://thenextweb.com/insider/2017/05/24/report-ddos-attacks-are-less-common-but-theyre-bigger/#.tnw_RJHfi1AZ
Originally posted here:
Report: DDoS attacks are less common, but they’re bigger