DDOS Attacks

Latest DDoS attacks take down the big guys!

Just a few weeks ago hundreds of websites went offline. Amongst the websites, services like Netflix, Twitter and Spotify also were affected.

All of the above occurred due to massive DDoS attacks that cut off Internet traffic to people in the United States.

The DDoS attacks were launched over a certain period of hours and were aimed at internet performance management company known as Dyn. Dyn provides support to eight of the top 10 Internet service and retail companies.

In total, there were three attacks and the first one started at 11:10 am UTC, but the services were soon restored. The second and third attacks came at 11:52 am and 6:17 pm. Nevertheless, all attacks were resolved within a very short period of time.

What do the latest series of attacks indicate about DDoS?

Since the attacks were resolved quickly, they did not do as much damage as was intended. However, many services were taken out and the attackers were in control of the bandwidth. The fact that the last attacks were strong enough to take out such big servers can imply that capabilities surrounding one of the oldest tricks in the books, DDoS attacks, are becoming stronger, more complicated, and more targeted.

Even more so, more and more global botnets are being created every single day. That indicates that attacks will be more common in the future and new found data shows that there have been nearly 5,000 botnet attacks across the internet in the last year.

Why did the attacks occurs?

Unfortunately, it is unknown who perpetrated the attacks and what were the actual purposes of it. Attacks like these attacks have been occurring, and it's making people fearful that similar attacks - but on a global level - might become the new normal.

If that there were the case, then the DNS infrastructure would seem to be a likely next target. Some speculate that the way to prevent the damages is to simply take the Internet down, which obviously cannot happen.

On the other hand, the current attacks that technically did not cause large amounts of harm, just money loses to the big businesses, could be a publicity stunt or a way to "get back" at corporations around the world...sounds a little too much like Mr. Robot though, right?

At the moment there is no one suspected to be responsible for the attacks, but certain data points out that the attacks could have come from South America, although this is just speculation.

How harmful are DDoS attacks?

DDoS attacks can be very dangerous. Any online organization should take preventative measures against such attacks because if an attack is successful, then the damages can be worse that negative reputation and damage to the client list. Bigger companies, if attacked can expect damages as bad as losing 40,000 per hour if not more. The longer the attack the higher is the risk of the company going bankrupt.

The most common harm caused by DDoS attacks is the impact on eCommerce and revenue loss, damage to the online reputation which is extremely painful to governments and financial services.
Often the attacks are used just as a tool for distraction, while hackers steal information and sensitive data from big companies. Last but not least, the attacks and just mere possibility of them means an inflation of IT costs.

What protection measures are out there?

One of the crucial ways to protect against DDoS is to have reinforced login data to your devices and strong encryption. There are many ways that can be taken to protect a server.
One of the most common ways is to buy excess bandwidth or an extra server in order to handle spikes in demand, just so that there is still capacity for the servers to continue to work and not become overloaded with requests.

In order to minimize the effect of a DDos attack, it is important to configure server applications correctly. An administrator can explicitly define what resources an application can use and how it will respond to requests from clients. Then, once attacked, the servers will still be able to work even while under attack and will not cause any major disruptions unless the attack is too powerful for the checks in place.

The recent DDoS attacks were not as harmful as they could have been. Nevertheless, the attacks are destructive and since the world’s reliance on internet is constantly growing, everyone needs to be aware of preventative measures.