DDOs Attack: Causes and preventive measures!

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults has been used by hackers to take down some of the biggest websites in the world since the turn of the new millennium.

DDoS attacks are shockingly easy to pull off, and every year there are more and more of them. They affect a vast number of websites all over the world.

Denial of service attacks is also known as DDoS or simply denial of service (DoS). During a short time, a website gets a lot of requests. This is done to try to overwhelm the site and make it stop working. Unlike denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, distributed attacks simultaneously come from more than one place.

How to recognize an attack on a website?

Certainly, it’s critical to correctly identify a DDoS assault as soon as enterprises suspect one is to blame. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to tell the difference between an average traffic increase and one spurred on by a DDoS attack. However, your website might be under attack if poor performance lasts days after a sale or marketing campaign rather than just a few hours. Another symptom of an assault is a significant increase in spam emails. A firm can expect tens of thousands of requests simultaneously over minutes or even hours if the website targets a DDoS attack. Automated requests, which can come from many different places depending on the attack’s size, are not caused by more people visiting a website.

Why do DDoS attacks happen?

Hackers carry out DDoS assaults for a variety of reasons. For example, a competitor can attempt to hurt your firm by attacking your website. A hacker can try to target your website to steal customer and company information.

A DDoS assault can prevent you from serving consumers or closing sales if you sell products and services through your website. That can cost your company time and money, not to mention harming its reputation.  It is much preferable to prevent a DDoS attack than to deal with its aftereffects.

Simple but effective tactics to mitigate DDoS attacks 

  1. Broaden the bandwidth

Making your hosting infrastructure “DDoS resistant” is one of the most fundamental safeguards against DDoS attacks. Essentially, this means setting aside adequate bandwidth to manage traffic peaks brought on by potential cyberattacks.

Do remember, though, that increasing bandwidth alone is not a sufficient defense against DDoS attacks. Increased bandwidth does raise the hurdle that attackers must clear before they can conduct a successful DDoS attack, but to fully protect your website, you need always combine this with other mitigation strategies.

2. Implement DDoS defense on the server

Some web providers offer DDoS mitigation solutions at the server level. Since web hosting companies do not always provide this service, one should check with their web host. Some businesses offer it as a complimentary service, while others charge extra for it. Everything is dependent on the hosting plan and provider.

3. Reduce the attack surface

Reducing attackable surface area to limit attacker options and enable the construction of defenses in a single location is one of the first methods to mitigate DDoS attacks. We must ensure that no ports, protocols, or applications are opened for our application or resources from which they do not anticipate receiving any communication.

4. Purchase quality network hardware.

High-quality network hardware purchases can aid in detecting and even completely blocking unanticipated traffic spikes on your website. The network gear includes all the elements that enable data transmission across a network, including the router, the cables used to link computers, network switches, and interface cards.

One can set up network hardware to stop DDoS attacks if one invests significantly in quality hardware.  This strategy can keep corporate software running smoothly and protected from all types of external users.

5. Use a hybrid or cloud-based solution 

You’ll have access to limitless bandwidth if you migrate to the cloud- or hybrid-based services. Many DDoS-affected websites are resource-constrained, and if you switch to a cloud-based service, it can help you stay protected.

DDoS mitigation strategies should be considered as soon as possible because DDoS assaults are on the rise, and each one has a high likelihood of having disastrous effects on any company, regardless of size or scope. You may strengthen the security of your website and defend it from cyberattacks by using the strategies mentioned above.

DDoS attacks are becoming more common, and when they work, they can cause damage to billions of dollars. Organizations can’t completely stop DDoS attacks because they have no control over who visits their website. A DDoS attack can’t be avoided, but it will happen less often if organizations use the above-mentioned preventive measures.

NETSCOUT introduces AI resolution for DDoS assaults!

An industry leader in cybersecurity, service assurance, and business analytics solutions, NetScout, today announced the release of a cutting-edge AI-based solution that will allow its customers to instantly and automatically block a large percentage of DDoS attacks, streamlining operations and lowering the risk to their companies.

In order to provide unparalleled visibility into DDoS attack activity on the Internet, the solution uses NETSCOUT’s ATLAS network. Multiple ATLAS datasets are analyzed, curated, and correlated using artificial intelligence. The ATLAS Security Engineering and Response Team (ASERT) at NETSCOUT developed this automated intelligent pipeline to find botnet members and other network infrastructure actively participating in DDoS attacks.

“This is an innovative way to block DDoS attacks,” stated Darren Anstee, chief technology officer for security at NETSCOUT. “Omnis AIF, which incorporates the new DDoS reputation feed, takes an intelligence-based approach providing customers with faster, more comprehensive, and more automated solutions. Our approach is different because we leverage global observations in DDoS attack activity to drive local automation and response. As a result, we can dramatically lower the risk of business impact due to DDoS attack for our customers.”

TMS and AED can use this data to automatically detect and stop botnet-generated DDoS attacks such as reflection/amplification, direct-path TCP state exhaustion, application-layer, and encrypted attacks. Omnis AIF’s analysis is based on NETSCOUT’s unique, global DDoS attack visibility, which covers over one-third of all Internet traffic and millions of DDoS attacks. This global intelligence can then be automatically applied for local defense.

Read More: DDoS Attack and its Types!

G-Core Labs Provides Protection Against SYN Flood attacks!

G-Core Labs provides DDoS protection against SYN Flood attacks. The XDP-based solution, which was created in collaboration with Intel, does not require a separate DDoS protection server role. G-Core Labs, in collaboration with Intel, has developed a stand-alone solution based on 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors to better protect its customers against such attacks. With this new approach, volumetric attacks are evenly distributed across CDN servers, eliminating the need for a separate DDoS protection server, and lowering the performance demands on each individual CDN node.

Andrew Faber, Head of cybersecurity at G-Core Labs said, “Our long-term cooperation with Intel in the development of the solution, guarantees many things for the future. First of all, it’s the flexibility of development for the customer and faster technical support. Secondly, it’s the possibility of further joint testing and upgrading a solution on the latest Intel processors available to us at the earliest possible stage, to provide the best protection to the customers.”

G-Core has tested this method of protection in both test labs and with its customer, online gaming powerhouse Wargaming. Wargaming adds a signature to every UDP packet sent from the end-user to the game server to combat DDoS attacks. By running this countermeasure on its servers, G-Core Labs assisted Wargaming in ‘offloading’ such checks from their network, ensuring that only ‘clean’ traffic reaches customers. In the event of an attack, G-Core Labs’ servers drop all traffic with invalid signatures, allowing only validated traffic to proceed to the protected server.

For G-Core and its customers, such testing of the XDP-based solutions against SYN Flood attacks has been successful in scenarios where the DDoS protection suite will be executed on every CDN node. This is ideal for G-long-term Core’s goals, and the company’s continued partnership with Intel means greater development flexibility for its customers and faster technical support. Additionally, this situation establishes a positive precedent for future collaborative testing, ensuring that the G-Core solution can consistently offer its clients the best protection.

Volumetric Attack!

The purpose of a volume-based DDoS attack is to cover a network with large amounts of traffic by filling the service bandwidth of the target victims. A large number of attack traffic prevents legitimate users from accessing an application or service, preventing traffic from entering or leaving. Depending on the target, stopping official traffic could mean that a bank customer may not be able to pay off credit on time, e-commerce customers may not be able to complete an online transaction, a hospital patient may be denied access to their medical records, or a citizen may find himself unable. to view their tax records at a public entity. Regardless of the organization, blocking people from the service they expect to use online has a detrimental effect.

Volumetric Attack uses botnets created by host forces and devices infected with malware. Controlled by an attacker, bots are used to create overcrowding between the target and the internet in bulk with malicious traffic that fills all available bandwidth.

Unexpected attacks on bot traffic can significantly reduce or prevent access to the web service or online service. As bots take up legitimate devices to maximize DDoS bandwidth attacks, often unknowingly to the user, malicious traffic is hard for the victim to detect.

The most common types of volumetric attacks

There are a variety of volumetric DDoS attack vectors used by intimidating players. Many use display and zoom methods to bypass a target network or service.

UDP flood

UDP floods are often preferred in DDoS attacks of large bandwidth. Attackers are trying to bypass holes in the host via IP packets that contain an unsupported UDP protocol. The victim host then looks at applications associated with UDP packets, and when they are not available, they send a “Reach Out” to the sender. IP addresses are often hijacked so that the attacker can be identified, and if the target host is full of attacks, the system is unresponsive and unavailable to legitimate users.

DNS reflection / amplification

DNS reflection attacks are a common type of vector where cybercriminals exploit the IP address of their target to send large numbers of requests to unlock DNS servers. In response, these DNS servers respond to malicious requests by corrupt IP addresses, thus creating targeted attacks with multiple DNS responses. Very quickly, a large amount of traffic created from DNS responds by overriding victim organization resources, making them unavailable, and preventing official traffic from reaching their destination.

ICMP floods

Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) is used for the error message and usually does not exchange data between systems. ICMP packets may be compatible with TCP Transmission Control packets that allow applications and devices to exchange messages over a network when connected to a server. ICMP flood is a DDoS Layer 3 attack system that uses ICMP messages to overload target network bandwidth.

Protocol Attack

Assault protocols try to exploit and eliminate the calculation capacity of various network infrastructure resources such as servers or security walls with malicious connection applications that take advantage of protocol communication. Synchronize (SYN) and Smurf DDoS floods are two common types of protocol-based DDoS attacks. Protocol attacks can be measured in packets per second (PPS) and bits per second (bps).

SYN flood attacks

One of the main ways people connect to online applications is through the Transmission Control Protocol TCP. This connection requires a three-way connection from the TCP service – such as a web server – and involves sending a so-called SYN (sync) packet where the user connects to the server, restoring the SYN-ACK (synchronization sync) package, which is ultimately turned on by the last connection ACK (approval) to complete the TCP handshake.

During an SYN flood attack, a malicious client sends a large number of SYN packets (one part of a standard handshake) but never sends an acknowledgment to complete the handshake. This leaves the server waiting for a response to this half-open TCP connection, which loses the ability to accept new connectivity services that track connection status.

The SYN flood attack is like a vicious game played by an entire high school graduate class, in which each student calls the same pizza restaurant and orders a pie at the same time. Then, when the delivery person goes to pack, he realizes that there are too many pizzas in his car and there are no addresses on orders.

Volumetric attacks will continue to be a threat as they grow in size and complexity. The safety of source devices is not something that victims of volumetric attacks can control. However, advances in DDoS attack protection allow network-edge electronic devices to capture incoming requests and automatically filter out bad traffic for good. Using real-time DDoS mitigation technology can significantly reduce the impact on your network, business, and customers.

DDoS Attack and its Types!

What is a DDOs attack?

DDoS, or distributed denial of service, is a malicious attempt to make a website or network service unavailable by disrupting the traffic so that it cannot function.

DDoS Attack achieves efficiency by using vulnerable computer systems as sources of traffic attacks. Users may include computers and other network resources such as IoT devices. From a high point, the DDoS attack is like an unexpected traffic jam blocking the highway, preventing normal traffic from reaching our destination.

Types of DDOs Attacks!

Volumetric Attack

The goal of a volumetric attack is to use the botnet to generate a major amount of traffic and clog up the works on the target. Think of it as an HTTP Flood attack, but with an added exponential response component. For example, if you and 30 of your friends all called the same restaurant and ordered 60 plates at the same time, that restaurant will face difficulties and will not be able to fulfil those requests. Volumetric attacks operate on the same principle. They request something from the target that will vastly increase the size of the response, and the amount of traffic explodes and clogs up the server.

DNS Amplification is a kind of volumetric attack. In this case, they are attacking the DNS server directly and requesting a large amount of data back from the DNS server, which can bring the DNS server down and cripple anyone that is using that DNS server for name resolution services.

Protocol Attack

Attack of the DDoS Protocol targeted a network layer of targeted systems. Their goal is to cover the tablespaces for the main network services, firewall, or loading relay that transmits applications to the target.

Typically, network resources operate in a first-line. The first application comes in, the computer processes the request, and then it goes and finds the next application online, and so on. There are now a limited number of locations on this line, and in a DDoS attack, the queue may be so large that there are no computer resources to handle the initial request.

Application layer attack

The DDoS attack of the program layer is intended to exploit the services of the target and disrupt access to the targeted website or service. Attackers load the bots with a sophisticated application that taxes the targeted server as it tries to respond. The application may require access to a website or a large download. If the target receives a few million of those requests in a short period of time, it can be quickly frustrated and reduced to clarity or completely shut down.

HTTP Flood Attack, for example, is a web application attack that targeted the webserver and targeted many HTTP applications to slow down the server. Think of it as pressing the refresh button on the fire mode immediately in your game controller. That kind of traffic from many thousands of computers at once will quickly drown a web server.

In today’s cyber world, denial of service attacks is one of the most popular sports. Knowing the basic types and how to defend yourself against them is critical for a network administrator (or an individual) who wants to traverse the internet safely. Stopping a live DDoS attack can be difficult, and it may have an impact on your legitimate users. This is why it’s critical to take proactive measures.

DDoS Protection Preparation Guide

DDoS attacks can bombard an organization’s network with traffic taking down online services and applications resulting in the prevention of genuine users from accessing the firm’s services. They often lead to lost revenues, loss of customers and damage to the brand. Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that there is a lot to be done. Even though an enterprise firm can’t predict when an attack will occur the steps can be taken to minimize the impact of an attack and set up a backup to recover fast.

List Vulnerable Assets

To protect assets from DDoS attacks first step for security teams is to find the most vulnerable and valuable assets. They need to start by listing all attackable assets. Example – Servers, Applications, IP addresses and Domains.

Mapping assets will help security teams to identify points of vulnerability and construct defensive strategies.

Estimate Potential Damages

Assess the value and importance of each asset to properly allocate protection money/resources. An important point that companies should consider is certain damages are direct, while others can be indirect.

Loss of clients – Client loss is one of the most serious possible repercussions of a successful DDoS attack.

Productivity loss – Firms that rely on online services like email, online storage or databases, the unavailability of these services will result in a productivity loss.

Direct revenue loss – If a company’s online service generates revenue effectively on a regular basis, any downtime will result in a direct revenue loss. 

Brand damage – Accessibility and the digital experience are more closely linked to a company’s brand. A cyberattack that results in a loss of online service will have an impact on a company’s brand and reputation.

Assigning Tasks

The responsibility of managing DDoS attacks should be distributed to respective people – 

1. CISO and security team should manage the overall DDoS attack coordinating with other teams.

2. Network administrators should communicate with the security team to mitigate DDoS attacks.

3. Teams handling specific applications or online services like cloud storage should coordinate with the security team to provide details and assistance if there’s a DDoS attack.

Deploy and Manage DDoS Solution

After assessing the most vulnerable assets and expenses security team should set up an attack detection strategy. This strategy should be designed in consideration with the DDoS solution deployed by the company. How DDoS solution is being deployed on the cloud or on-premises?

Routing entire traffic through a firewall reduces the need for a diversion. This form of security is perfect for a critical application that simply cannot afford any downtime.

The backup must be created. A separate backup of the most important or critical assets should be created. While creating backup it must be integrated and tested with restoring process and systems to make restoration seamless.

After deploying the DDoS solution, it should be scaled up with the growth of the organization as new customers, systems, users, and devices are added. Once the DDoS solution is set up, the mitigation strategies for various DDoS attack scenarios must be planned.

Update and maintenance schedule of the DDoS solution should be planned. The database of malicious traffic like IP addresses must be updated on regular basis by the vendor. The regular trials of various defensive strategies of DDoS must be conducted with the assistance of the vendor.

The key to a DDoS solution lies in filtering or shifting possibly dangerous traffic away from networks and application infrastructure.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) – Everything You Need to Know

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is a cyber-attack in which the attackers seek to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. DDoS attacks account for a significant portion of security threats and latest attacks have been larger and more complex than ever before. Research firms are expecting the DDoS attack prevention market to grow 20% every year.

The Basic steps in DDoS are-

1) Detection – The DDoS attack detection involves identification of deviations in traffic flow from a normal to high traffic based on parameters like IP address, bandwidth, etc. The wide-global distribution of attacking sources makes it extremely hard for organizations to recognize real client traffic from attack traffic spread across many points of origin. DDoS detection is the key to quickly stop or mitigate attack and to do these two factors- 1) Speed of detection and 2) Accuracy of detection, play an important role.

2) Decision – Traffic is rerouted away from its target organization using DNS (Domain Name System) or other techniques and a decision must be taken whether to filter it or discard it completely. Discarding traffic completely affects an organization’s customers.

3) Analysis and Adaption – Analytics helps to gather and analyze information about the attack specific patterns such as repeating IP address range, certain processes misused. Security analytics techniques can provide a detailed comprehensive overview of attack traffic and instant understanding of attack. This information can be used to create new robust system and adapt to enhance future attack prevention.

Risk involved in DDoS attack for an Enterprise

DDoS attacks on an organization’s online service or website are time-consuming and expensive. Maximum organizations don’t have experience and technical experts to prevent DDoS attack. These attacks take down an enterprise firm in few minutes and the recovery process take several hours or weeks. An Organization’s network infrastructure comprises of a number of servers, computers and other IT assets. These may include web servers, FTP servers, email servers, ERP or CRM platforms. In a DDoS attack they are targeted resulting in downtime of organization’s business. The negative impact of such downtime can be felt by firm are expensive, it can affect website’s ranking on search engines and they may lose client’s trust, which results in revenue loss. All businesses irrespective of size and industry are vulnerable to DDoS attacks. The organizations having business records, financial data and customer information are more targeted.

DDoS Cloud based Risk Mitigation Services

DDoS mitigation services is a set of techniques or tools for defending or mitigating the effect of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on Internet-connected networks by protecting the target at various levels of network. DDoS mitigation service can be deployed as a device on an organization’s premises or in their data centers, as a cloud service or hybrid of both. In this, they filter the traffic by accessing data repository stored in the Cloud, so regular customers are not affected. These services are customizable, reliable and can be Scaled up-down as per client’s need.

Big data and ML Integrated Solutions

DDoS attacks are becoming more frequent, Sophisticated and more effective with increasing speed of internet. The pool of potential attacks is now greater than ever considering the increasing availability of attacking tools and botnets. Humans are simply not enough to deter and block DDoS attacks and companies that rely on manual DDoS security and mitigation services are not completely protected against today’s and future threats. Big data Analytics systems can store and process huge data making it possible to have complete logs of raw data like IP address, which can be analyzed with the help of machine learning algorithms to prepare solutions that can help enterprises stay one step ahead of the DDoS attackers. This sector is still in initial phase of growth, but with time they will play a huge role in DDoS attack Prevention.

The main reason behind not buying a Distributed Denial of Service Protection Solution is the cost incurred in buying a service or dedicated team. The key to understanding the extent of the effect of DDoS attacks is to realize the importance or cost of network traffic being blocked or the downtime that will cost a business in terms of trust, reputation and money.