DDoS Archive

Hacking attacks against organisations promoting democracy in Hong Kong were run using the same infrastructure previously linked to Chinese cyber-espionage attacks, according to new research from security firm FireEye.

Sites promoting the Occupy Central Pro Democracy movement, including Next Media’s Apple Daily publication and the HKGolden forum, have been hit by DDoS attacks.

The assaults against Next Media’s Apple Daily “brought down its email system for hours” as well as affecting its website.

The use of DDoS attacks as a political tool during times of conflict is not new; patriotic hacktivist groups frequently use them as a means to stifle rival political groups. The apparent objective of these DDoS attacks is to silence free speech and suppress the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. The Chinese government is therefore an obvious suspect.

In the case of Hong Kong, FireEye discovered “an overlap in the tools and infrastructure used by China-based advanced persistent threat (APT) actors and the DDoS attack activity” against the Hong Kong protest movement.

FireEye reports that DDoS attacks against the Pro-Democracy Movement using the KernelBot network. Samples of malware powering these attacks are signed with digital certificates linked to previously observed APT activity, including Operation Poisoned Hurricane, according to FireEye.

FireEye has identified a number of binaries coded to receive instructions from a set of command and control (C2) servers instructing participating bots to attack Next Media-owned websites and the HKGolden forum. Next Media is a large media company in Hong Kong and the HkGolden forum has been used as a platform to organise pro-democracy protests. Each sample we identified is signed with digital certificates that have also been used by APT actors to sign binaries in previous intrusion operations: These binaries are W32 Cabinet self-extracting files that drop a variant of an older DDoS tool known as KernelBot.

The QTI International and CallTogether code signing certificates, previously seen in malware attributed to APT activity, have cropped up in malicious code used in other attacks targeting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. For example, malicious JavaScript inserted into the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood website featured the QTI certificate.

More recently, as noted by security researcher Claudio Guarnieri, the website of the Democratic Party of Hong Kong hosted a redirect to the same malicious JavaScript.

All this tool and infrastructure sharing points to links between pro-Beijing hacktivists and state-sponsored groups focused on IP theft and cyber-espionage. It’s evidence of collusion but far from definitive, according to FireEye.

“The evidence presented above shows a link between confirmed APT activity and ongoing DDoS attacks that appear to be designed to silence the Pro Democracy movement in Hong Kong,” FireEye concludes in a blog post. “The evidence does not conclusively prove that the same actors responsible for the DDoS attacks are also behind the observed intrusion activity discussed above – such as Operation Poisoned Hurricane. Rather, the evidence may indicate that a common quartermaster supports both the DDoS attacks and ongoing intrusion activity.”

It almost goes without saying but the hkgolden,com, nextmedia.com, and appledaily.com.hk websites are blocked by the Great Firewall of China – indicating that authorities in Beijing have found the content hosted on these sites objectionable.

Other security researchers have noted that Hong Kong protesters have been infected by iOS and Android spyware. Lacoon Mobile Security spotted the Xsser mRAT spyware being slung around while posing an Occupy Central coordination app.

Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong began in September and have continued to escalate since. ®

Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/03/hong_kong_hacking_chinese_cyber_spy_link/

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

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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.

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Director of Sales for DOSarrest Internet Security LTD.

Seventy official sites targeted by hackers ‘partly from other regions’ who declared ‘cyberwar’ after tear gas was used on Occupy protesters

Eleven people have been arrested over cyberattacks on more than 70 government websites this month after hackers warned of retaliation for the use of tear gas on democracy protesters.

The cyberattacks are believed to have been directed under the banner of Anonymous, a brand adopted by hackers and activists around the globe.

No information was changed or stolen, nor were the government’s online services affected significantly, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung told lawmakers yesterday.

Attackers made the sites intermittently inaccessible through a flood of access requests, he said.

“Attacks launched by the hackers’ group originated partly from Hong Kong, and partly from other regions,” So said.

“Since any internet user can join Anonymous, [the attackers] could have originated from anywhere in the world and it is hard to find out their nationalities.”

Police had arrested eight men and three women, aged 13 to 39, on suspicion of accessing computers with criminal or dishonest intent, he said.

On October 2, web users identifying themselves as Anonymous hackers declared “cyberwar” on the government and police force after tear gas was fired at Occupy Central demonstrators late last month.

So told a Legislative Council meeting that more than 70 official sites were made temporarily inaccessible by so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. During such attacks, website infrastructure is overwhelmed by a huge bombardment of traffic, overloading servers and slowing down the site’s functionality. So stressed that security was not compromised.

In contrast, hundreds of phone numbers and email addresses of the Ningbo Free Trade Zone and a job-search site run by the Changxing county administration, both in Zhejiang province, were exposed by Anonymous this month, apparently in support of the protesters. The data also included individual IP addresses and names.

So said hackers had hit some local websites as well, but did not have a significant impact on the city’s economic activities.

Lawmakers asked if the hacking was related to Occupy and the alleged involvement of “external forces” in the movement.

So said it could not be linked to any specific country as many computers originating from different places were involved. Police were investigating further.

The website of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily has also been the target of cyberattacks in recent weeks, coinciding with a blockade of its offices in Tseung Kwan O by pro-Beijing protesters.

No group has claimed responsibility for those cyberattacks, which followed similar attempts to make the Apple Daily website inaccessible in June when Occupy held an electoral reform “referendum”.

Source: http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1622171/more-70-hong-kong-government-websites-under-attack-anonymous-hackers

Anonymous attacks predicted as Guy Fawkes Day approaches. 

Hackers are increasingly using domain name serves (DNS) amplification to deliver huge amounts of traffic in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, according to a white paper from security company Symantec.

Between January and August of this year the firm observed an 183% increase in the use of such attacks, in which hackers deliver requests to DNSs prompting floods of traffic to the target.

Candid Wueest, threat researcher at Symantec, said: “Distributed denial of service attacks are not a new concept, but they have proven to be effective. In the last few years they have grown in intensity as well as in number, whereas the duration of an attack is often down to just a few hours.

“Such attacks are simple to conduct for the attackers, but they can be devastating for the targeted companies. Amplification attacks especially are very popular at the moment as they allow relatively small botnets to take out large targets.”

Attack patterns employed by hackers can move over time as companies seek to defend themselves against popular attacking strategies, in what is often compared to an arms race.

Many hackers now sell DDoS attacks for as little as $5 online, although denial of service continues to popular among so-called hacktivists such as Anonymous, who engage in cyber attacks as a means of political protest, or what some may consider terrorism.

Wueest added that Shellshock bug earlier this year which affected the command lines of Unix, Linux and Mac had allowed hackers “to install DDoS scripts on a variety of servers”, with some building “a powerful DDoS botnet”.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

This year saw a DDoS attack measuring 400Gbps, the fastest on record, with many attacks said by Symantec to be in excess of 100Gbps. India was found to be the most common source for the attacks at 26%, with the US accounting for 17%.

Source: http://www.cbronline.com/news/security/huge-ddos-attacks-on-the-rise-4412905