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How every business is vulnerable to DDoS attacks?

Attacks using the technique known as distributed denial of service are making the news practically every day. The number of DDoS attacks increased by approx. 450% in 2022, which is 6.5 times greater than in 2021.

During the same time, the number of advanced DDoS attacks that are often targeted, also known as smart attacks, increased by approx. 35 % over the past few years, financial institutions have been the most common DDoS and DoS assault targets overall.

Does this imply that companies and organizations that are not involved in the banking and financial services sector are not at risk of being attacked by DDoS? In no way! Every company could be hit by a DDoS attack. Continue reading to know the reasons why each organization could be a target.

Weak security and DDoS prevention

Even though the technology is getting better, many companies still use old firewalls and signature-based traffic monitoring to protect against DDoS. Traditional security methods aren’t enough to protect against today’s complex threats. Even attacks that don’t last long can hurt money and reputation.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are just as much a target as significant corporations regarding attacks. As attacks on bigger companies make the news, SMEs often think they won’t be attacked. They don’t do much to protect against DDoS. DDoS attacks on SMEs are made in this easy-going way.

Making it easier to attack

The pandemic has pushed the government, non-profits, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to digitize. BYOT devices are used remotely from shared networks that aren’t always safe. The attack surface and DDoS risk of every organization are getting bigger. The problem worsens when companies don’t understand the crucial DDoS protection and instead use generic hosting, ISP, and cloud solutions.

DDoS attacks are simple and cheap

Most DDoS attacks in the past few years lasted less than 4 hours. Even though episodes are shorter, they are more intense, happen more often, and hurt more. Today, innovative, multi-vector and sophisticated DDoS attacks are easy to set up and don’t cost much owing to the following reasons:

  • Innovations in technology
  • Malware and botnets are easy to get
  • Hacking and DDoS attacks as a service

So, attackers don’t have to work hard. DDoS attacks make money for the people who do them.

Competitors and employees who are unhappy can benefit

Websites that go down often (usually because of DDoS attacks) or have pages that have been changed lose their search engine rankings and reputation. To lose search engine rankings and reputations, DDoS is used by competitors and employees who aren’t happy with their jobs.

For Amusement

DDoS attacks may occur for no apparent reason.  It’s a common misperception that every attack has a specific motive. But this isn’t the case at all. It does not matter how big or small the system or website is, many hackers experience an adrenaline rush when they successfully breach it.

Seeking Vengeance

Getting revenge is a frequent cause of DDoS attacks which can affect governments, businesses, or both. Attacks are not always used to express an opinion, but rather to target the enemy.

DDoS Hacktivism

As mentioned above, DDoS attacks don’t always involve data theft. Any opinion or demand can be strongly expressed using this technique. Online action can have a greater and quicker impact than participating in a protest or strike in person. DDoS is frequently used to express support or opposition to a particular cause. It could be about politics, but it could also be about a business or bank, an ethical issue, or an online game.

Politics agenda

The newest battleground is the Internet. DDoS attacks can also occur between nations or governments. Government websites may be the targets of DDoS attacks. Many people believe that governments or political parties frequently engage in DDoS attacks against one another, even though it is possible that non-political hackers hit the websites. This has been a good way to show political disagreement because most governments use the Internet to talk to each other and run their countries.

Unfriendly Competition

There is competition in the digital world as many businesses move their physical stores online.

Nearly half of the companies think their competitors used DDoS assaults to interrupt services. After all, if your competitors’ website is down, all the visitors will go to yours. Additionally, the reputation of your competitors’ brands is damaged, resulting in favorable associations with your business. How to stay secure?

Taking a proactive approach to security and enrolling an intelligent, controlled, and advanced DDoS protection solution is the most effective method to keep the organization secured from DDoS. One may avoid being a target of a distributed denial of service attack with the assistance of advanced solutions available in the market, which also improve the website’s speed and functionality.

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.

Neustar Security Services Releases DDoS & Application Security Data Centre in Dubai

Neustar Security Services, a leading provider of cloud-delivered solutions, recently announced that it will launch DDOS mitigation and application security data centre in Dubai in October.

Neustar Security Services’ expansion into the Middle East satisfies a rising need for a local security presence that can guarantee data sovereignty and low latency performance for clients in the area. The addition of the Dubai node further demonstrates the organization’s dedication to making ongoing investments in its ultra-secure infrastructure, enabling Neustar Security Services to maintain the largest and best-connected distributed denial of service (DDoS) and application security network in the world.

Neustar Security Services’ most recent growth is a natural extension of its continued dedication to enhancing the Ultra Secure line of products. The company has invested resources in re-architecting its infrastructure for more than five years, greatly increasing network capacity and performance for DNS and DDoS services. In order to meet the growing need for application security, it has integrated new options for cloud WAF and bot control into its Ultra Secure family of services.

Carlos Morales, Senior Vice President, Solutions, at Neustar Security Services, said, “As a thriving financial and commercial hub, Dubai is home to many new and expanded businesses which have contributed to heightened demand for local security that can ensure data remains safely within the region. By deploying this new state-of-the-art data centre, Neustar Security Services will provide low latency access to cutting-edge solutions and features that address a host of risks in today’s complex and ever-evolving threat environment.”

The Dubai node boosts Neustar Security Services’ DDoS cleaning capability, which is already at 12+ Tbps globally. With the help of the new data centre, customers in the Middle East will have access to local, end-to-end defence against the most frequent threats to web-based infrastructure and services, including as the OWASP top 10 threats, volumetric DDoS, and application-level DDoS attacks.

Colin Doherty, CEO of Neustar Security Services, said, “Our new Dubai node is just the latest in a series of significant investments in scaling our global cloud capacity and capability. We look forward to continuing to demonstrate our commitment to customers and partners around the world in delivering the industry’s premier cloud security service.”

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 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.

Juniper Networks and Corero Network Security team up to give Critical DDoS Protection Solution to Plusnet GmbH

Corero Network Security plc, a global provider of real-time, automated Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber defence solutions and Juniper Networks, a worldwide leader in secure, AI-driven networks, have collaborated to provide Plusnet, a provider of communications and network services to 25,000 enterprises in Germany, with a combined DDoS Protection Solution to safeguard its infrastructure, business, and clients.

DDoS attacks have been a part of the threat landscape for more than two decades, but their frequency, scale, and intelligence are constantly increasing. Plusnet, which serves 200 cities and regions across Germany, used to examine anomalies in traffic patterns using an internal data filtering system. However, when attacks grew and changed, this in-house security solution required manual intervention, which was neither practicable nor successful. To protect its national network from attack-driven outages, Plusnet wanted to automate DDoS mitigation with effective, dynamic, and scalable security.

Ralf Weber, Head of Competence Center Network & Security, Plusnet said, “During the testing phase of the Juniper-Corero solution, we could immediately see a manageable stream of DDoS attacks. With the Juniper-Corero solution, Plusnet is able to further improve network protection without any significant impact on network performance.”

“More than ever before, providers need to ensure that their infrastructure and business operations are always available to deliver an exceptional user experience. This can only be achieved when security is built into the same network infrastructure that provides connectivity and extended across every point of connection. Plusnet is a great example that leverages Juniper Connected Security to enable the threat-aware network, ensuring its operations are comprehensively protected 24/7 against the growing risk of DDoS attacks,” said Samantha Madrid, Vice President, Security Business & Strategy, Juniper Networks.

“We are very pleased to continue partnering with Juniper Networks to provide a superior DDoS solution that is now protecting thousands of customers around the globe. The SmartWall TDD solution couples Corero’s surgically accurate, real-time automatic DDoS protection with the high-performance packet filtering of Juniper MX Series routers. This, along with the comprehensive visibility into attacks, enabled Plusnet to implement a cutting-edge solution that can detect and mitigate DDoS attacks in seconds to protect its network and the ones of its customers,” said Lionel Chmilewsky, Chief Executive Officer at Corero Network Security.