A cyber-attack took the European Commission’s services offline on Thursday, although it is thought hackers didn’t gain access to any systems and no data was compromised. According to Politico , internet services at the EC were down for several hours on Thursday afternoon following a DDoS attack. An email sent to EC staff said that a DDoS attack “resulted in the saturation of our internet connection.” Although DDoS attacks are often used as a decoy by cyber-criminals to deflect attention away from a different type of attack, there is no evidence that’s the case here. “No data breach has occurred,” the EC said in a statement sent to Politico . “The attack has so far been successfully stopped with no interruption of service, although connection speeds have been affected for a time.” Despite the EC’s claim that there was no interruption to its services, one staff member told Politico that the internet connection went down for several hours on two separate occasions, stopping employees from getting work done. There is no indication at the moment who carried out the attack or what the motivation was. The EC is, however, bracing itself for further trouble as DDoS attacks often come in waves. The EC and the European Union (EU) are dealing with a number of cyber-related issues at the moment. Top of the agenda is the potential impact of Brexit on cybersecurity across the region, as well as incoming data protection laws. The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May 2018, but there is plenty of work ahead for businesses and governments before that deadline. Source: http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/european-commission-hit-by-ddos/
DUBLIN, Ireland – In yet another Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack by hackers reported in Ireland, the country’s biggest telco said that its email system suffered a suspected attack. The attack, suspected to be a DDOS attack, which is a malicious attempt to make a server or a network resource unavailable to users is said to have put 400,000 of Eir users at risk. Customers with @eircom.net addresses reportedly began experiencing problems accessing their mail following the suspected attack. Following the reports, Eir said it noticed the issue and immediately began its mitigation process. A DDOS attack usually is launched by interrupting or suspending the services of a host connected to the internet. Reports quoted an Eir spokesman as saying that a majority of its customers should be able to access their emails accounts again. The spokesperson even said that the firm had received no contact with any hackers or any ransom demand. According to reports, users might still face issues even as the mitigation process continues to scan through IP addresses to sort out the genuine ones from those that might have been part of an attack. Source: http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/249745895/suspected-ddos-attack-on-eir-email-system-might-have-put-400000-users-at-risk
Duncan Hughes explains the best methods to use to effectively protect businesses and ensure networks can stand up to a DDoS attack. The latest headlines have shown that distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have been growing in both size and complexity. In the last month, two high-profile DDoS attacks reached more than 600 Gbps and 1 Tbps. The most recent attacks have ranked among the largest DDoS attacks on record. The ferocity and frequency of these attacks has suggested that this trend is only set to upsurge in the near future. With the most recent DDoS attack targeting the service provider, rather than a specific website, resulting in Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, Spotify and others being severely affected, it is clear to see how DDoS attackers are increasing their capability. In my opinion, this most recent DDoS incident is a new spin on an old attack, as the bad guys are finding new and innovative ways to cause further discontent. It was an interesting point to see that the bad guys are moving upstream for DDoS attacks on the DNS providers, instead of just on sites or applications. What is also interesting to see is that threat actors are leveraging unsecure Internet of Things (IoT) devices to launch some of these large DDoS attacks. The immediate solution is for manufacturers to eliminate the use of default or easy passwords to access and manage smart or connected devices. That said, consumer adoption will be tricky, but this change is critical for the greater security of all. This response will hinder many of the global botnets that are created and deployed for malicious use. DDoS attacks can impact businesses of all types and sizes. Retail stores, enterprises and service providers can all find themselves at threat of the DDoS crosshairs. According to a recent report commissioned by A10 Networks in its A10 Networks IDG Connect report – everyone is a target, but some types of businesses come under fire more frequently. Entertainment and gambling are targeted the most targetted, with 33 percent of DDoS attacks aimed at that industry, followed by advertising media and web content (28 percent), and traditional and online retail (22 percent). The financial impact of DDoS attacks for businesses can be severe and a recent Ponemon Institute study revealed that between 2011 and 2016, the costs associated with a DDoS attack swelled by 31 percent, with some larger attacks exceeding US$2 million (£1.6 million) due to lost revenue, business disruption and other hard costs. Brand and reputation damage, can also have a lasting effect which cannot be financially measured. The IDG Connect report found the average company suffers 15 DDoS attacks per year (some averaging as many as 25 DDoS attacks annually), and the average attack causes at least 17 hours of disruption, whether that’s downtime, latency, denied customer access or crashes. That’s 255 hours of disruption a year, can businesses afford this level of interruption? I would suggest that the answer is probably not. So to be properly prepared, businesses must brace for the worst-case scenario. The following points below outline four main steps in prevention to ensure networks can stand up to a DDoS attack: Be proactive. Do not wait for a major crash. You may already be experiencing attacks with slowed or blocked customer access, which can result in lost sales or dissatisfied customers. Beware of the “world of denial.” Ask tough questions. What do your customer satisfaction metrics reveal? Do you see indicators of lost sales? What’s the real cost of service restoration? Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Invest in sufficient DDoS protection and mitigation solutions early, before a major attack strikes. Defend against all vectors. Consider dedicated multi-vector DDoS protection using in-path mitigation, coupled with integrated threat intelligence, for the best accuracy. Include hybrid protection with a cloud-bursting service as an extra precaution to combat volumetric attacks. Businesses of all sizes need to be able to detect and mitigate DDoS attacks particularly ‘multi-vector’ ones that simultaneously attack the bandwidth, application and network layers. This is all the more important because we have all seen that major DDoS attacks are taking place – and growing exponentially in size. Not only are the implications of this profound but these attacks are leveraging botnets comprising hundreds of thousands of unsecured IoT devices. With industry analysts expecting IoT usage to grow substantially the issue is coming into ever more sharper focus. Referring back to the Ponemon research, some of the main findings really bring to light the extent of the problem. From the research in which over 1000 IT and IT security practitioners in North America and EMEA participated, one of the most frightening takeaways was that organisations are highly concerned that they aren’t able to detect and stop encrypted attacks, but aren’t sure where to start or how best to defend their business. Clearly a lot needs to be done within the industry to protect against cyber-security threats. The one key thing that should be reflected from this is to not let your network remain unprotected against such attacks that are noticeably increasing and could end up being more costly for your business in the long run. Source: http://www.scmagazineuk.com/why-you-should-have-a-ddos-defence/article/570782
The DDoS Protection Bootcamp is the first online portal to provide in-depth technical training in the field of DDoS protection. This comprehensive quiz-based training course, available at both the Basic and Advanced levels, is comprised of eight sections on topics ranging from DDoS attack types to business risks and mitigation techniques. The course is both challenging and fun—packed with technical descriptions as well as real-world simulations to help you build skills. Each section is followed … More ?
Remember last month, when a Mirai botnet attack brought down half the internet? On October 21, a Distributed Denial of service attack that employed swarms of unsecured “Internet of Things” devices was laser focused on a global DNS provider, making much of the internet unusable for many. Here’s what Dyn, the targeted DNS provider, said of the attack then: “At this point we know this was a sophisticated, highly distributed attack involving 10s of millions of IP addresses. We are conducting a thorough root cause and forensic analysis, and will report what we know in a responsible fashion. The nature and source of the attack is under investigation, but it was a sophisticated attack across multiple attack vectors and internet locations. We can confirm, with the help of analysis from Flashpoint and Akamai, that one source of the traffic for the attacks were devices infected by the Mirai botnet. We observed 10s of millions of discrete IP addresses associated with the Mirai botnet that were part of the attack.” 10 million devices, flooding networks with garbage traffic. Why? According The Wall Street Journal, it’s because one angry gamer was pissed about Sony’s PlayStation Network. Says Dale Drew, CSO of Level 3 Communications: “We believe that in the case of Dyn, the relatively unsophisticated attacker sought to take offline a gaming site with which it had a personal grudge and rented time on the IoT botnet to accomplish this.” While Drew hasn’t said which gaming site, The Wall Street Journal has, saying that the entire outage was brought about because somebody was mad at Sony. According to Forbes, all it took was buying the attack on the deep, dark web for $7500. The attack lasted for less than a full day. Is that worth over R100 000? That’s money that could have been spent on – materialistically – moving to another platform. Source: http://www.lazygamer.net/gaming-news/last-months-botnet-ddos-happened-gamer-mad-psn/
Security researchers have discovered a new attack technique that requires less effort to launch large-scale attacks. A new DDoS attack method called BlackNurse has been discovered by security researchers, which allows hackers to launch large-scale attacks with less effort than is required for traditional DDoS attacks. BlackNurse also provides attackers with the ability to take down severs and firewalls with just a single laptop. According to researchers at TDC SOC (Security Operations Centre of the Danish telecom operator TDC), BlackNurse leverages low-volume ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol)-based attacks to launch attacks capable of overloading firewalls and shutting them down. BlackNurse targets vulnerable firewalls made by Cisco, PaloAlto and others, in a “ping flood attack” reminiscent of those popular in the 1990s. TDC researchers said: “The BlackNurse attack attracted our attention, because in our anti-DDoS solution we experienced that even though traffic speed and packets per second were very low, this attack could keep our customers’ operations down. This even applied to customers with large internet uplinks and large enterprise firewalls in place. We had expected that professional firewall equipment would be able to handle the attack. “Based on our test, we know that a reasonable sized laptop can produce approx a 180 Mbit/s DoS attack with these commands.” Researchers at security firm Netresec, clarified how and why the new technique was dubbed BlackNurse, which according to the firm has caused “some confusion/amusement/discussion”. Netresec also cautioned about googling the term, which they claimed “might not be 100% safe-for-work, since you risk getting search results with inappropriate videos that have nothing to do with this attack”. Netresec said: “The term ‘BlackNurse’, which has been used within the TDC SOC for some time to denote the ‘ICMP 3,3? attack, is actually referring to the two guys at the SOC who noticed how surprisingly effective this attack was. One of these guys is a former blacksmith and the other a nurse, which was why a colleague of theirs jokingly came up with the name ‘BlackNurse’. However, although it was first intended as a joke, the team decided to call the attack ‘BlackNurse’ even when going public about it.” How does BlackNurse work? DDoS attacks ideally require a large volume of traffic to successfully cripple targets. Traditionally, large-scale attacks involve hoards of devices and numerous IP addresses working collectively to bombard a targeted server with massive volumes of traffic, in efforts to stop it from functioning. However, BlackNurse does not need an army of compromised devices; neither does it require high volumes of traffic. Instead, BlackNurse issues out low volume ICMP error messages to servers and firewalls, which can fairly easily overload the main processors, rendering them useless. ESET security researcher Mark James told IBTimes UK: “BlackNurse uses ICMP flooding to achieve its goal. ICMP is also known as Ping and is predominantly used to test the connectivity between two computers. An ICMP (ping) echo request is sent from one machine and awaits an ICMP echo reply from the receiving machine. “The time of the round trip is measured which would normally indicate how good the connection route is based on errors and or packet loss. If you take that same technology and send lots of requests without waiting for any replies, it’s possible to overload the destination server. It works two-fold, as often the receiving server will attempt to reply to the incoming requests and try to send replies thus increasing its activity and helping the initial attack. Also BlackNurse uses a different technique that is slower than traditional ICMP flood attacks utilising some firewall vulnerabilities or misconfiguration.” Mitigation for such an attack is possible. “Disabling ICMP Type 3 Code 3 on the WAN interface can mitigate the attack quite easily,” the TDC researchers said. “This is the best mitigation we know of so far.” Source: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/new-ddos-attack-method-called-blacknurse-lets-hackers-take-down-firewalls-servers-single-laptop-1592214
Avi Freedman discusses the use of big data to cope with the increasingly large scale DDoS attacks. If you weren’t aware of just how “big” DDoS has gotten, the recent attack on Dyn (hopefully) serves as a wake-up call. Within the last month we’ve seen multiple 500 Gbps+ attacks launched by competing IoT botnets. DDoS is now hyperscale! So if DDoS is so big, why are defensive solutions so small? By small, I mean based on relatively limited, single server architectures, rather than on cloud-scale technology. After all, if you search today for any sort of DDoS defence solution, you’re going to be looking nearly exclusively at a set of physical appliances. Even cloud-based DDoS services are based on stacks of appliances, just operated at service provider PoPs. One reason is there’s no practical way around using ASICs and network processors to perform the variety of packet and traffic flow inspections needed to “scrub” IP traffic clean of DDoS packets at high bit rates. However, scrubbing internet traffic of the bad stuff is just one half of the DDoS defence story. Before you scrub, first you have to find the bad stuff . And the detection layer is where the “smallness” of traditional DDoS protection approaches has reached the end of the road. Appliance-based DDoS detection has hit its ceiling In the out of band DDoS protection architectures which are most common today, a detection appliance receives traffic summaries (NetFlow, sFlow, IPFIX) and BGP routing data detects attacks based on that inbound data, then signals to mitigation layers to scrub the traffic in question. The problem with this isn’t necessarily the overall architecture, but the detection appliance’s compute and storage limitations. A multi-core CPU with NxGB of RAM and some TB of storage is a lot of power for a laptop, but not so much when dealing with huge volumes of traffic flow data. It takes most of the compute power just converting binary wire to text/numeric data. So a ton of compromises must be made in analysing the data to detect attacks, leading to fairly substantial inaccuracies. Big data helps DDoS detection sccuracy The application of big data to DDoS detection is transformative for accuracy, based on two factors. The first factor is how comprehensively the data is examined. For example, to perform any kind of baselining, it’s common for appliances to have to segment traffic flow data based on which router exported the flow records. So let’s say a host IP is being hit by a DDoS attack, but it’s coming in via multiple routers. Instead of seeing a large bump of network-wide traffic going to that host, the detection appliance will see a small bump of traffic across several routers — none of which will trigger any alert or mitigation. A big data approach doesn’t have the computing constraints, so it can always look at network-wide traffic, and so it will naturally notice attacks that would otherwise get missed. The second factor has to do with automation. With compute-constrained appliances, administrators either have to manually configure and maintain many individual IP addresses to baseline, or worse, configure cumulative baselining against a CIDR block, which severely dilutes accuracy. With big data scale, it’s possible to have an adaptive approach to baselining, where the system continuously figures out the set of IPs that are “interesting” based on how much total traffic they’re receiving within a given segment of time, then baselines and evaluates them for anomalies. Overall, big data capabilities have proven to increase DDoS detection and mitigation accuracy by 30 percent or more. Of course, just knowing that big data helps doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy to achieve. Not all of the many big data platforms and technologies are suitable for DDoS detection, and not all IT or network teams have time and expertise to build a system. Some keys to building big data-powered DDoS detection are to ensure that the system can ingest streaming flow data at high rates; plan sufficient storage to retain data for a relatively long period of time to allow for network-wide anomaly detection; and allow for ad-hoc queries so that there is flexibility both in detection policies as well as forensic analyses to cope with both known and zero-day exploits. Despite these challenges, the good news is that big data technology, platforms and expertise are proliferating. DDoS is hyperscale, but big data can help defensive strategies scale to meet the challenge. Source: http://www.scmagazineuk.com/the-big-data-era-for-ddos-protection-has-arrived/article/569500/
A new report, using data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, provides analysis of the current cloud security and threat landscape, including insight into two record?setting DDoS attacks caused by the Mirai botnet. Nineteen DDoS attacks exceeded 100 Gbps, with six exceeding 200 Gbps DDoS attacks The two largest DDoS attacks this quarter, both leveraging the Mirai botnet, were the biggest observed by Akamai to-date – recorded at 623 Gbps and 555 Gbps. Compared to … More ?