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An Overview of DDoS Attacks | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Security #DataCenter
Cloud computing provides access to multiple virtual machines with many having unique public facing IP addresses
By: Harry Trott
Mar. 5, 2017 04:00 PM
Powerful Denial of Service attacks are becoming increasingly common. A Distributed Denial of Service attack is when the attacker uses multiple machines to flood the resources of the target to overwhelm it and deny the legitimate users access to the service. The DDoS attack on Dyn in October 2016 was one of most powerful attacks in history. Many DDoS attacks can be thwarted to a large extent by increasing the system’s capacity during an attack, but that is not a solution because it still causes monetary losses.
DDoS attacks typically employ three methods:
Cloud computing provides access to multiple virtual machines with many having unique public facing IP addresses. These virtual machines, however, are a goldmine of “zombies” for an attacker. Attackers are always doing automated scans on the internet for easily exploitable machines and put them to use as “zombie machines” in an attack. These machines form a part of botnets, which are available for lease in the dark web for anyone willing to go down that path! Botnets as a Service (BaaS?) are a reality now.
Cloud providers are very active in taming these bots. They lock down any virtual machine that exhibits abnormal behavior. Such botnets are hard to detect though, because they can remain dormant for a long time and take turns in collaborative attacks, thus never raising any suspicions towards their behavior. The idea is to find machines with known vulnerabilities. It is absurd that so many machines are still left open in the wild to be exploited.
Some scan strategies employed by attackers are:
It is also important to make a distinction between the hosts and the victims in a DDoS attack, because sometimes the hosts themselves are the ones attacked. While hosts are usually used as “zombies” in DDoS attacks, they can be the victims themselves. While having control over a host, the attacker can:
DDoS attacks are becoming a menace. As difficult as it is, safeguarding their web services against such attack should be a top priority of any sysadmin. Several steps can be taken to mitigate them, like subscribing to more bandwidth, upstream blackholing or using a third-party frontline defense like Cloudflare.
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