DDoS Protection Specialist Archive

Popular chat service Discord experienced issues today due to network problems at Cloudflare and a wider internet issue. The app was inaccessible for its millions of users, and even Discord’s website and status pages were struggling. Discord’s problems could be traced to an outage at Cloudflare, a content delivery network. Cloudflare started experiencing issues at 7:43AM ET, and this caused Discord, Feedly, Crunchyroll, and many other sites that rely on its services to have partial outages.

Cloudflare says it’s working on a “possible route leak” affecting some of its network, but services like Discord have been inaccessible for nearly 45 minutes now. “Discord is affected by the general internet outage,” says a Discord statement on the company’s status site. “Hang tight. Pet your cats.”

“This leak is impacting many internet services including Cloudflare,” says a Cloudflare spokesperson. “We are continuing to work with the network provider that created this route leak to remove it.” Cloudflare doesn’t name the network involved, but Verizon is also experiencing widespread issues across the East Coast of the US this morning. Cloudflare notes that “the network responsible for the route leak has now fixed the issue,” so services should start to return to normal shortly.

Cloudfare explained the outage in an additional statement, commenting that “Earlier today, a widespread BGP routing leak affected a number of Internet services and a portion of traffic to Cloudflare. All of Cloudflare’s systems continued to run normally, but traffic wasn’t getting to us for a portion of our domains. At this point, the network outage has been fixed and traffic levels are returning to normal.”

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/24/18715308/discord-down-outage-cloudflare-problems-crunchyroll-feedly

Botnets in 2018 continued to use DDoS as their primary weapon to attack high-speed networks, according to NSFOCUS.

Continuous monitoring and research of botnets discovered significant changes taking place in the coding of malware used to create bots, operations, and maintenance of botnets and IP Chain-Gangs.

Throughout 2018, NSFOCUS developed profiles on 82 IP Chain-Gangs, groups of bots from multiple botnets acting in concert during specific cyber-attack campaigns. Understanding botnets in general and IP Chain-Gangs, in particular, helps improve defensive strategies and, thus, the ability to better mitigate attacks.

Key findings

  • NSFOCUS detected 111,472 attack instructions from botnet families that were received by a total of 451,187 attack targets, an increase of 66.4 percent from last year.
  • The U.S. (47.2 percent) and China (39.78 percent) were the two worst-hit countries when it came to botnet attacks.
  • Statistical analysis shows that gambling and porn websites were the most targeted, suffering 29,161 (an average of 79 per day) DDoS attacks throughout 2018.
  • Botnets were shifted from Windows platforms towards Linux and IoT platforms, leading to the fast decline of older Windows-based families and the thriving of new IoT-based ones.
  • As for platforms hosting Command and Control (C&C) servers, families using IoT platforms, though smaller in quantity, were more active, attracting 87 percent of attackers.
  • In 2018, a total of 35 active families were found to issue more than 100 botnet instructions, accounting for 24 percent of all known families. Several families with the highest level of instruction activity accounted for most of the malicious activities throughout 2018.

“Security service providers need to adapt their strategies to better mitigate the increasing threats posed by the new generation of botnets,” said Richard Zhao, COO at NSFOCUS.

“As defenders, we not only need to enhance our capabilities of countering ransomware and cryptominers but also need to improve the protections for IoT devices.

“While the total number of IoT devices globally surges rapidly and IoT product lines are increasingly diversified, IoT devices still have poor security. Insecure firmware and communication protocols lead to numerous vulnerabilities in IoT platforms.”

Source: https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/2019/06/20/botnets-shift/

While there were fewer cyber threat incidents in Singapore last year, the republic continues to be the target for cyber attacks by advanced threat actors, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) said in its third annual Cyber Landscape report.

Here is a look at six alarming cyber security trends highlighted in the report:

DATA BREACHES

With data becoming the most valued currency or “commodity” in cyberspace, the CSA said that cyber criminals will try even harder to breach electronic databases.

Those that store large amounts of private and personal information will be the biggest target for hackers and cyber criminals.

The data breach involving healthcare cluster SingHealth was Singapore’s worst cyber attack, with the personal information of more than 1.5 million patients – including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong – stolen by hackers in June last year.

THREATS TO GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS

Supply chains that consumers depend on for their goods are increasingly becoming interconnected and automated thanks to rapidly developing technology.

But the CSA warned that cyber criminals are trying to disrupt them. This could be for reasons such as extracting information from the companies involved in these supply chains, or holding them to ransom. Industries dominated by a few companies are especially vulnerable as problems in one stage of production could potentially lead to a breakdown in the entire supply chain.

ATTACKS ON CLOUD DATABASES

An increasing number of databases are being hosted in the cloud, which is where software and systems are designed specifically to be deployed over a network.

This means that cyber criminals will be on the lookout to exploit potential vulnerabilities in cloud infrastructure.

“While their primary goal remains data theft, threat actors will also try to exploit cloud services for other malicious aims, such as to amplify Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks,” the agency said in its report.

SMART BUILDINGS AND CONNECTED SYSTEMS

The advent of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and connected industrial control systems in buildings and factories might improve and quicken processes, but it also means that they are open to more danger.

As these buildings and systems become ‘smarter’, the risk of them being attacked to hold their owners to ransom, or be exploited to spread malware or conduct DDoS attacks, also increases, said CSA.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)

AI will be able to significantly enhance the capabilities of security systems in cases such as detecting unusual behaviour and rolling out appropriate responses and mitigation measures in the case of an attack.

But the CSA warned that threat actors can also use AI to search for vulnerabilities in computer systems.

It could also potentially be used to create malicious software that bypasses existing online security measures in an organisation.

BIOMETRIC DATA

As biometric authentication, such as the use of fingerprints or facial scanning, becomes increasingly common, threat actors will shift to target and manipulate biometric data, to build virtual identities and gain access to personal information.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/tech/six-alarming-cyber-security-trends-highlighted-by-the-csa

Telegram founder Pavel Durov has suggested that the Chinese government may have been behind a recent DDoS attack on the encrypted messaging service. Writing on Twitter, the founder called it a “state actor-sized DDoS” which came mainly from IP addresses located in China. Durov noted that the attack coincided with the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, where people are using encrypted messaging apps like Telegram to avoid detection while coordinating their protests.

The attack raises questions about whether the Chinese government is attempting to disrupt the encrypted messaging service and limit its effectiveness as an organizing tool for the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators taking part in the protests. Bloomberg reports that encrypted messaging apps like Telegram and FireChat are currently trending in Apple’s Hong Kong App Store, as demonstrators attempt to conceal their identities from Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed government.

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As well as using encrypted messaging apps, Bloomberg notes that protesters in Hong Kong are also covering their faces to avoid facial recognition systems. They’re also avoiding the use of public transit cards that can link location to identities.

Telegram’s Twitter account said that the service had been hit with “gadzillions of garbage requests,” mostly from IP addresses originating in China, as part of the DDoS attack which had stopped the service from being able to process legitimate requests from users. It said that these garbage requests tend to be generated by botnets, networks of computers infected with malware. “This case was not an exception,” Durov tweeted without elaborating.

A distributed denial of service attack may sound like hacker talk, but there’s a simple explanation behind it. Secure messaging app Telegram said it had to endure one Wednesday, and it gave an explanation that almost anyone could understand.

Telegram tweeted Wednesday morning that it was dealing with a DDoS attack. The app was down for many users across the globe, according to DownDetector. The downtime period was just a little over an hour, and while it was going on, Telegram explained how a DDoS attack works.

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“Imagine that an army of lemmings just jumped the queue at McDonald’s in front of you – and each is ordering a whopper,” Telegram tweeted. “The server is busy telling the whopper lemmings they came to the wrong place – but there are so many of them that the server can’t even see you to try and take your order.”

The tweets then went on to describe how hackers accomplish a DDoS attack.

“To generate these garbage requests, bad guys use ‘botnets’ made up of computers of unsuspecting users which were infected with malware at some point in the past. This makes a DDoS similar to the zombie apocalypse: one of the whopper lemmings just might be your grandpa,” the company said in another tweet.

Before giving the all-clear that the attack was over, Telegram tweeted that users’ data was safe.

“There’s a bright side: All of these lemmings are there just to overload the servers with extra work – they can’t take away your Big Mac and Coke,” the company tweeted.

Telegram has its share of run-ins with service denials, but they usually come from countries that want to shut the service down. Russia, Iran and Indonesia blocked the secure messaging app in recent years as governments in those countries argued that the service was used for anti-government protests and terrorism.

Telegram didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: https://www.cnet.com/news/telegrams-description-of-ddos-attack-is-the-best/