DDoS Defense Archive

Guy Fawkes: famous for a plot to assassinate England’s King James in 1604 and for guarding copious amounts of gunpowder, is remembered every Nov. 5 in Britain with fireworks and bonfires. Researchers say that businesses should brace themselves for a different kind of plot: an influx of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks from hacktivist group Anonymous on Wednesday.

“The forecast for the future looks dark, as we expect to see many DDoS attacks during Guy Fawkes Day on November 5, as the Anonymous collective has already announced various activities under the Operation Remember campaign,” said Candid Wueest, threat researcher at Symantec, in a blog. “However, hacktivists protesting for their ideological beliefs are not the only ones using DDoS attacks. We have also seen cases of extortion where targets have been financially blackmailed, as well as some targeted attacks using DDoS as a diversion to distract the local CERT team while the real attack was being carried out.”

DDoS attacks have grown in intensity as well as in number in the last two years, although the duration of an attack is often down to just a few hours. Amplification attacks especially are very popular at the moment as they allow relatively small botnets to take out large targets with amplification factors of up to 500. For such an attack, spoofed traffic is sent to a third-party service, which will reflect the answer to the spoofed target.

“Such attacks are simple to conduct for the attackers, but they can be devastating for the targeted companies,” said Wueest.

From January to August 2014, Symantec has seen a 183% increase in DNS amplification attacks, making it the most popular method seen by Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network. Multiple methods are often used by attackers in order to make mitigation difficult and, to make matters worse, DDoS attack services can be hired for less than $10 on underground forums.

“It is the distribution of hosts that attracts attackers — such as the group Anonymous — as it provides multiple advantages; undetectable location, multiple machines and identity anonymity,” said Alex Raistrick, director cybersecurity solutions at Palo Alto Networks. And all of that “which makes DDoS attacks an appealing instrument for destruction on Guy Fawkes Day,” he added.

As far as mitigation, Raistrick noted that some attacks simply exploit vulnerabilities that subsequently crash or severely destabilize the system so that it can’t be accessed or used.

“Segmentation helps to block attacks trying to spread from one area of the network to another,” he said. “Next-generation firewall will also directly contribute to a stronger overall security platform, starting with the endpoint and detecting attacks there as well as detecting when threats are attempting lateral moves within networks.”

He added, “Essentially, make your estate difficult and expensive to breach — and the bad actors will go elsewhere.”

Source: http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/ddos-explosion-imminent-for-guy/

As cyber-criminals innovate and develop new techniques to tackle defensive methods, it has never been more important for information security professionals to have strong, proactive defense and remediation strategies in place. During this webinar, the speakers will share insight on how to address the risks and respond to attacks.

Hear about the evolution of and motivations behind DDoS attacks and the attack vectors exploited

  • Discover how to implement multi-layered DDoS defense
  • Identify best practice detection and classification techniques
  • Discover how to implement resilient DDoS incident response practices

Date: November 12th 2014
Time: 10:00AM EST/15:00 GMT

Click here to register !

As the Director of Sales for DOSarrest Internet Security I have the opportunity to speak with many prospects looking for DDoS protection service for their corporate website.

What I have learned is that there are many competitors offering what I would call a “bare bones vanilla offering”.

Some offer free service to service ranging in price from $200 – $300/month. These plans offer a very basic protection. They also advertise an Enterprise offering that has an expense starting point can really turn into being quite costly depending on your circumstances.

The Enterprise service is the offering that any company that is serious about protecting their website should consider. There are a few issues with each of these offerings that I’d like to point out.

These competitors claim they have a very large number of clients utilizing their services but fail to mention that 80-85% of them are using their free service. Roughly 10 -15% of their customers are using their $200-$300/month service which again is really just a basic protection with limited protection capabilities.

When a company witnesses a large attack, which is completely out of their control, they are told they should upgrade to their enterprise offering. I hear from prospects quite often that this $200 – $300/month service does not offer adequate protection nor customer support.

In most cases there is no phone support included at all! Also they will charge the client based on the size of the attack? How can a client control the size of an attack they are experiencing! This uncertainty makes it virtually impossible for a company to budget costs. Let’s not be mistaken, their goal is to get you onto their Enterprise offering which will cost you in excess of a thousand dollars per month.

Alternately at DOSarrest Internet Security we offer a single Enterprise level service for all of our clients.

The service includes full telephone and email access to our 24/7 support team with our service. This provides you direct access to system experts. We do not operate a tiered support service given the criticality of the service.

Also we protect our clients from all DDoS attacks regardless of size without the need to pay us additional depending on the size of an attack.

We also include an external monitoring account with our service called DEMS which stands for our DOSarrest External Monitoring Service. This allows our 24/7 support team to monitor your website from 8 sensors in 4 geographical regions.

We proactively inform our clients if we notice any issues with their website. Most of our competitors do not offer this service and if they do it is not included free of charge to their clients.

DOSarrest has been providing DDoS protection services since 2007. Globally we were one of the very first DDoS protection providers and have successfully mitigated thousands of real world attacks. This is a not an “add on product” for us. Our team has the experience and the protection of a client’s website is our #1 priority. Please visit our newly revamped website and take a look at the testimonials page to see what some of our current customers are saying about their experience with us.

Please feel free to reach out to me directly or anyone on our sales team at sales@dosarrest.com for further information on our service.

Brian Mohammed

Director of Sales for DOSarrest Internet Security LTD.

After successful in launching reflection and amplification Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks by abusing various protocols such as DNS, NTP and SMTP, hackers are now abusing Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) – part of the UPnP protocol standard – to target home and office devices, researchers warned.
SSDP is a network protocol based on the Internet Protocol Suite that comes enabled on millions of networked devices, such as computers, printers, Internet gateways, Router / Wi-Fi access points, mobile devices, webcams, smart TVs and gaming consoles, to discover each other and automatically establish working configurations that enable data sharing, media streaming, media playback control and other services.
FLAW IN UPnP USED IN AMPLIFICATION DDoS ATTACK
Prolexic Security Engineering & Response Team (PLXsert) at Akamai Technologies have issued a warning that the devices use in residential or small office environments are being co-opted into reflection and amplification distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks since July that abuse communications protocols enabled on UPnP devices.

The rise of reflection attacks involving UPnP devices in an example of how fluid and dynamic the DDoS crime ecosystem can be in identifying, developing and incorporating new resources and attack vectors into its arsenal,” the advisory states. “Further development and refinement of attack payloads and tools is likely in the near future.

The weakness in the Universal Plug-and-Play (UPnP) standard could allow an attacker to compromise millions of its consumer and business devices, which could be conscripted by them to launch an effective DDoS attack on a target.
Attackers have found that Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) – protocol used to exchange sensitive information in a decentralized, distributed environment – requests “can be crafted to elicit a response that reflects and amplifies a packet, which can be redirected towards a target.”
This UPnP attack is useful for both reflection attacks, given the number of vulnerable devices, and amplification as researchers estimate that it can magnify attack traffic by a factor of 30, according to the advisory.
OVER 4.1 MILLIONS DEVICES VULNERABLE
According to the security researchers, about 38 percent of the 11 million Internet-facing UPnP devices, i.e. over 4.1 million devices, in use are potentially vulnerable to being used in this type of reflection DDoS attack.

The number of UPnP devices that will behave as open reflectors is vast, and many of them are home-based Internet-enabled devices that are difficult to patch,” said Akamai security business unit senior vice president and general manager Stuart Scholly. “Action from firmware, application and hardware vendors must occur in order to mitigate and manage this threat.”

MAJOR TARGETED COUNTRIES 
South Korea has the largest number of vulnerable devices, followed by the United States, Canada, and China, according to the advisory.
This isn’t the first time when a security flaw in UPnP has allowed attackers to target home and business devices, back in January 2013, a flaw in UPnP exposed more than 50 millions computers, printers and storage drives to attack by hackers remotely.
Source: http://thehackernews.com/2014/10/reflection-ddos-attacks-using-millions_16.html

 

When you start with the premise that capitalism is illegitimate it’s easy to dismiss other people’s property rights.

To some people, a political mission matters more than anything, including your rights. Such people (the Bolsheviks come to mind) have caused a great deal of damage and suffering throughout history, especially in the last 100 years or so. Now they’re taking their mission online. You better not get in their way.

Molly Sauter, a doctoral student at McGill University and a research affiliate at the Berkman Center at Harvard (“exploring cyberspace, sharing its study & pioneering its development”), has a paper calling the use of DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks a legitimate form of activism and protest. This can’t go unchallenged.

Sauter notes the severe penalties for DDOS attacks under “…Title 18, Section 1030 (a)(5) of the US Code, otherwise known as the CFAA” (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act). This section is short enough that I may as well quote it here verbatim:

(5)(A) [Whoever] knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer;
(B) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, recklessly causes damage; or
(C) intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, causes damage and loss.

There are other problems with the CFAA with respect to some legitimate security research and whether it technically falls afoul of the act, but that’s not the issue here.

Sauter goes on in some detail with the penalties under Federal law for violating this act and, no argument here, they are extreme and excessive. You can easily end up with many years in prison. This is, in fact, a problem generally true of Federal law, the number of crimes under which has grown insanely in the last 30 or so years, with the penalties growing proportionately. For an informed and intelligent rant on the problem I recommend Three Felonies a Day by Harvey Silverglate. Back to hacktivist DDOS attacks.

She cites cases of DDOS attacks committed against Koch Industries, Paypal, the Church of Scientology and Lufthansa Airlines, some of these by the hacktivists who call themselves Anonymous. In the US cases of the attacks against Koch, Paypal and the Church, the attackers received prison time and large fines and restitution payments. In the Lufthansa case, in a German court, the attacker was sentenced to pay a fine or serve 90 days in jail; that sentence was overturned on appeal. The court ruled that “…the online demonstration did not constitute a show of force but was intended to influence public opinion.”

This is the sort of progressive opinion, dismissive of property rights, that Sauter regrets is not happening here in the US. She notes, and this makes sense to me, that the draconian penalties in the CFAA induce guilty pleas from defendants, preventing the opportunity for a Lufthansa-like precedent.

This is part and parcel of the same outrageous growth of Federal criminal law I mentioned earlier; you’ll find the same incentive to plead guilty, even if you’re just flat-out innocent, all over the US Code. I would join Sauter in calling for some sanity in the sentencing in the CFAA, but I part ways with her argument that political motives are a mitigating, even excusing factor.

Sauter’s logic rises from a foundation of anti-capitalism:

…it would appear that the online space is being or has already been abdicated to a capitalist-commercial governance structure, which happily merges the interests of corporate capitalism with those of the post-9/11 security state while eliding democratic values of political participation and protest, all in the name of ‘stability.’

Once you determine that capitalism is illegitimate, respect for other people’s property rights is no longer a problem. Fortunately, the law protects people against the likes of Anonymous and other anti-capitalist heroes of the far left.

I would not have known or cared about Sauter’s article had it not been for a favorable link to it by Bruce Schneier. Schneier is a Fellow at the Berkman Center.

Progressives and other leftists who think DDOS, i.e. impeding the business of a person or entity with whom you disagree in order to make a political point, should consider the shoe on the other foot. If I disagree with Schneier’s positions is it cool for me to crash his web site or those of other organizations with which he is affiliated, such as the Berkman Center, the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Electronic Privacy Information Center and BT (formerly British Telecom)? I could apply the same principle to anti-abortion protesters impeding access to a clinic. I’m disappointed with Schneier for implying with his link that it’s legitimate to engage in DDOS attacks for political purposes.

It’s worth repeating that Sauter has a point about the CFAA, particularly with respect to the sentences. It does need to be reformed — along with a large chunk of other Federal law. The point of these laws is supposed to be to protect people against the offenses of others, not to protect the offender.

Source: http://www.zdnet.com/researcher-makes-the-case-for-ddos-attacks-7000034560/