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Attacks increase as a result of DDoS-for-hire services
August 26, 2016

DDoS attacks have increased in frequency, scale and complexity over the past year, driven by DDoS-for-hire services, according to a new report.

DDoS-for-hire services have caused attacks to become more affordable by enabling unsophisticated threat actors to launch attacks, stated Imperva’s DDoS Threat Landscape Report 2015-2016. The proliferation of these services, also known as “stressers” and “booters,” accounted for an increase in the number of DDoS attacks from 63.8 percent in Q2 2015 to 93 percent in Q1 2016.

The U.S. and U.K. are the most frequently targeted countries in DDoS attacks, the report said.

In speaking to SCMagazine.com on Thursday, Tim Matthews, vice president of marketing at Imperva Incapsula, said it has become inexpensive to mount DDoS attacks as these kits become “readily available,” creating a “perverse economic ecosystem.”

Other security pros have noticed a similar trend. Maxim Goncharov, security researcher at Shape, wrote in an email to SCMagazine.com on Thursday that in the underground community, there are “literally thousands of offers from DDoS professionals.”

While a 100-plus GB DDoS attack was virtually unheard of just 18 months ago, attacks of that magnitude are no launched by large scale botnets, according to Tom Kellermann, CEO at Strategic Cyber Ventures. “Mitigation through content delivery and ISP is key here,” wrote Kellermann, formerly CISO of Trend Micro, in an email to SCMagazine.com.

Allison Nixon, director of security research at Flashpoint, noted in an email to SCMagazine.com on Thursday that her firm has seen a rise in DDoS-as-a-service in recent years, both in number of services and the power of their attacks. “The problem is that these DDoS services are getting more powerful, and these attacks cause a lot of collateral damage,” she wrote. “Unfortunately, due to the widespread availability of DDoS power, many businesses are learning that purchasing DDoS protection is a requirement to engage in commerce.”

Imperva’s Matthews said there has been an uptick in job postings that require technical skills and experience countering these attacks.

The rise in DDoS-as-service attacks has become a significant concern for law enforcement, according to William MacArthur, threat intelligence analyst at RiskIQ. The adoption of IPv6 mixed with normal traffic protocol patterns is a method used by attackers that the “current hardware in use in most places of business is not ready to handle,” he wrote in an email to SCMagazine.com on Thursday.

Michael Covington, VP product, Wandera, noted that the increase in sophisticated DDoS attacks causes secondary challenges for organizations. “In many situations, a DDoS attack is just a smokescreen for something else the malicious actor is trying to accomplish, whether it involves installing malware, exfiltrating sensitive data or attacking an associate of the target,” he wrote to this publication.

Yogesh Amle, managing director and head of software at Union Square Advisors, agreed, noting that DDoS “is one of the most prevalent and common tactics used by cyberterrorists.” However, he also informed this publication that DDoS attacks are increasingly used to distract businesses. He called DDoS the “gateway” to a bigger prize.

Amle noted that the rise of the DDoS-as-a-service model is an example of a “dark economy” emerging on the internet. “With money to be made, amateurs and sophisticated hackers are jumping into the fray,” he said.

Source: http://www.scmagazine.com/attacks-increase-as-a-result-of-ddos-for-hire-services/article/518544/

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“The amount of traffic, or bandwidth, that is able to be generated and used as a weapon is at an all-time high.,” said one expert.
August 25, 2016

The company measured threats faced by its customers during a roughly one-year time period, seeing a 211 percent year-over-year increase in attacks.

More commonly known as DDoS attacks, they are designed to flood servers with artificial internet traffic that causes access interruption to websites or network systems.

The firm largely attributed this apparent growth to the establishment of several botnet operations — which serve as a platform to automate and increase attack volume — and malicious actors’ ability to access greater bandwidth to help generate and use such weapons. Dark Web dealers are using these botnets, according to Imperva, to offer more effective cyber tools to would-be customers.

“The amount of traffic, or bandwidth, that is able to be generated and used as a weapon is at an all-time high. This is likely the result of more compromised machines with higher bandwidth,” Imperva Vice President Tim Matthews told FedScoop.

In short, hackers are able to launch denial of service attacks by manipulating a hosting provider to re-route IP addresses towards a preferred server.

Those DDoS attacks recorded by Imperva — recorded between March 2015 and April 2016 — targeted a diverse range of clients. Even so, all of the attacks similarly aimed to disrupt each organization’s digital operations at one of two distinct levels: application or network.

To be clear, an application-based DDoS effectively works to discontinue online access to a specific property, like a website or software service, rather than an entire network.

Because app-based DDoS attacks are by nature less expansive, they typically leverage less traffic. In the past, DDoS-ing an entire network has presented a challenge for hackers due to the sheer artificial traffic required to pull it off. But Imperva’s new report suggests that botnets are significantly changing this dynamic; making it easier for individual operations to disrupt larger segments of the internet.

Another worrisome trend in the DDoS arena, spotted by Imperva, is that when a target gets hit once, it should prepare for another wave. Data shows that 40 percent of affected targets were attacked more than once, while 16 percent were targeted more than five times.

In the past, DDoS attacks have been used to distract an organization from a more malicious data breach, leading to the possible exfiltration of valuable data like customer finances and personal records.

Here’s what a DDoS looks like via a data visualization by cybersecurity firm Norse:

Source: http://fedscoop.com/ddos-attacks-up-211-percent-august-2016

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Blizzard’s Battle.net servers hit by yet another DDoS attack
August 24, 2016

Gaming servers are a top target of DDoS assaults,’ Imperva security researcher Ofer Gayer told IBTimes UK.

Developer Blizzard’s Battle.net servers were hit with yet another DDoS attack on Tuesday (23 August) resulting in latency and connection issues in some of its popular titles including Overwatch, World of Warcraft and Hearthstone. The company acknowledged the interruption on its Twitter support channels in both the US and Europe, indicating that it was not restricted to just one region.

The company also said that its sites and forums were “experiencing issues” at the time in a separate tweet.

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The latest attack is the second such assault targeting the developer’s servers this month and the third since the launch of its popular hero-based shooter, Overwatch, in May. It also comes at the end of which ran from 2 August to 22 August in celebration of the Olympic Games in Rio.

On 3 August, Blizzard’s Battle.net servers were crippled by another massive DDoS attack that caused connection, login and latency issues across some of its popular titles. The disruption also occurred on the same day Blizzard launched its Summer Games series.

Hacking collective PoodleCorp claimed responsibility for the alleged attack. The same hacker group also claimed responsibility for taking down Pokémon Go’s servers in July.

In June, Blizzard’s servers were hit with another alleged DDoS attack claimed by notorious hacker group Lizard Squad that prevented players from accessing their games.

DDoS attacks, which are difficult to prevent and defend against, have continued to plague online companies’ networks in recent years, particularly those of major gaming companies’ servers.

“Gaming servers are a top target of DDoS assaults,” Ofer Gayer, a senior security researcher at Imperva, told IBTimes UK.“They have been hit with some of the largest and longest attacks on recent record.”

He added that mitigating DDoS attacks on game servers is a “particularly complex task”.

“Since only gaming platforms are highly sensitive to latency and availability issues, they’re ideal DDoS attack targets,” Gayer said. “Gamers are very sensitive to the impact on latency, so what may be considered negligible for most services, can be very frustrating for the gaming community. This can be affected by multiple factors, most prominently the distribution of scrubbing locations and TTM (time to mitigate).”

Imperva’s latest DDoS Threat Landscape Report found that DDoS attacks have increased by a massive 220% over the past year “with no signs of abating”. It also noted that the UK has become the second most popular target for DDoS attacks in the world.

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Blizzard’s official Customer Support Twitter account later confirmed that the “technical issues” they were experiencing earlier have been resolved. At the time of publication, no hacking group has claimed responsibility for the most recent alleged DDoS attack.

Source: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/blizzards-battle-net-servers-hit-by-yet-another-ddos-attack-1577793

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DDoS Attacks Increase 200%; UK Now Second Most Targeted Nation
August 23, 2016

DDoS attacks have increased by over 200% in the last year, according to new research from Imperva. The uptick in attacks has been attributed to DDoS-for-hire services, the company said.

DDoS attacks are now among the most common cyber threats businesses can face, according to Imperva. Between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016 it recorded an average of 445 attacks targeting its customers per week. More than 40% of customers affected were targeted more than once, and 16% were hit more than five times.

The majority of attacks noted by Imperva targeted the application layer, making up 60% of all DDoS attacks. The remainder targeted the network layer. However, Imperva noted that the number of application layer attacks are trending downwards, dropping by 5% year over year. If that trend continues, network layer attacks could be just as common as application layer ones before too long.

The most recent quarter covered by this report shows a big jump in the size of network layer attacks. The biggest recorded attack was 470 Gbps, while many others exceeded 200 Gbps. Imperva now says attacks of this size are a “regular occurrence.”

These increases in DDoS attacks have been attributed to DDoS-for-hire services, where anyone can pay as little as $5 to launch a minute-long DDoS attack on a target of their choice. This means attacks can be launched by just about anyone—whether it’s because of a grudge against a particular company or just boredom.

These now account for 93% of DDoS attacks, up from 63.8% in Q2 2015. Imperva says this has directly led to the increase in overall DDoS numbers.

Another clue to an increase in DDoS-for-hire services and what Imperva calls “casual offenders” is a decrease in attack complexity. Starting in Q2 2015 the company recorded a decrease in multi-vector attacks; attacks using multiple vectors and payloads indicate a more sophisticated, complex attack. However, Q1 2016 saw an increase in the volume of assaults using five or more payloads.

“This countertrend reminds us that—in parallel with the increased “hobbyist” activity—more capable cyber-criminals continue to improve their methods. As per the first rule of the DDoS mitigation industry, attacks continue to get larger and more sophisticated on the high-end of the scale,” the report said.

The report also examined where DDoS attacks generally emerge from. Once again, China tops the list, with a sharp increase recorded in South Korea. The excellent broadband infrastructure in the country enables attacks to easily launch effective attacks, Imperva said.

The UK is now the world’s second most-attacked country, after the United States of America. Most attacks targeted small and medium businesses, but some bigger institutions, including the BBC and HSBC, were hit as well.

Source: http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/ddos-attacks-increase-200/

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Why smart companies don’t sweat the SSL stuff in DDoS defense
August 22, 2016

The average company suffers 15 DDoS attacks per year, with average attacks causing 17 hours of effective downtime, including slowdowns, denied customer access or crashes, according to a recent IDG Connect report based on a survey commissioned by A10 Networks.

DDoS attacks have rapidly proliferated in terms of bandwidth (Gbps) and packets per second (pps). In the survey, 59% of organizations polled have experienced an attack over 40 Gbps. Average attack bandwidth are peaking at a staggering 30 to 40 Gbps and 77% of organizations expect multi-vector attacks, which include volumetric and application-layer attacks, to pose the greatest danger in the future.

In recent years, multi-vector DDoS attacks have tunneled over encrypted SSL connections to evade cyber defenses. Some attacks have exploited the SSL protocol to cause denial of service by repeating ‘renegotiation’ in the same connection but stop short of creating a secure channel. Others flood SSL traffic over the created secure channel without being distinguished as a malicious connection.

The reason is that while most organizations protect their websites and online services with SSL, many existing enterprise security products are either woefully blind to encrypted SSL traffic or debilitated when trying to decrypt and analyze it.

From urgent threat to FYI notification

Amid growing virtualization, cloud networking and mobility, SSL encryption requirements to protect data and secure commnuications will surge. In other words, organizations must rethink their SSL offload and SSL inspection strategies, especially in defending against DDoS attacks.

The IDG Connect report shows that more than half of the organizations surveyed plan to increase DDoS prevention budgets in the next six months.

“DDoS attacks are called ‘sudden death’ for good reason,” says Raj Jalan, CTO of A10 Networks. “If left unaddressed, the costs will include lost business, time-to-service restoration and a decline in customer satisfaction. The good news is our findings show that security teams are making DDoS prevention a top priority. With a better threat prevention system, they can turn an urgent business threat into an FYI-level notification.”

To stop SSL at the data center perimeter, some organizations have deployed application delivery controllers (ADCs) equipped with crypto engines to help off-load SSL from servers and security appliances. Some ADCs also offer web application firewalls (WAFs) to inspect the traffic and detect attacks.

To eliminate SSL blind spots in corporate defenses and enable security devices to regain their effectiveness, application networking and security leader A10 Networks introduced the Thunder SSL Insight (SSLi) standalone security product built on its  SSL inspection technology and 64-bit ACOS Harmony platform.

The Thunder SSLi appliances decrypt SSL traffic and offer comprehensive inspection of multiple ciphers that deliver up to 48 Gbps of SSL inspection throughput. Their high density 1 GbE, 10 GbE and 40 GbE port options fulfill the highest networking bandwidth demands.

Clear and ever present security

The appliances are also complemented by intelligence-driven protection policies.  The A10 URL Classification Service monitors, blocks, or selectively bypasses specific websites to provide privacy for healthcare and financial Internet activity while the A10 Threat Intelligence Service blocks users from accessing known bad IP addresses.

Well-known global manufacturer of consumer gadgets, Casio Computer Company, has seized the opportunity to enhance security by analyzing encrypted communications using A10 Networks’ SSL Insight technology.

Having deployed the A10 Thunder ADCs to provide its employees smooth cloud access, Casio seeks the ability to differentiate between personal use and work-related cloud-bound traffic, according to Koji Kawade of Casio Information Systems Co Ltd’s User Support Group.

A10 Networks’ ADCs are equipped with SSL acceleration hardware that provides near-parity performance to handle 4096-bit keys at high-quality production levels, providing highly scalable flow distribution and DDoS protection capabilities..

The A10 Thunder TPS Series, for example, leverages SSL security processors to detect and mitigate SSL-based attacks, such as the POODLE vulnerability, and offers a mitigation throughput capacity ranging from 10 Gbps to 1.2 Tbps (in a list synchronization cluster) to deal with the largest multi-vector DDoS attacks effectively.

Clearly, A10 ADCs will continue ramping up L4 and L7 connections per second and SSL performance benchmarks to meet increasing performance and security needs against greater multi-vector DDoS attacks.

Source: http://www.networksasia.net/article/why-smart-companies-dont-sweat-ssl-stuff-ddos-defense.1471880795