DDoS Mitigation Services and Trends

DDoS Mitigation Services and Trends

DDoS, which is an acronym for Distributed Denial of Service has become a crucial part in today’s corporate environment. Keeping up to date with the emerging trends on DDoS attacks has become a necessity to enterprises that want to thrive. As complicated as this may sound, DDoS attacks are basically crowding a target server with multiple communication requests from different machines. The server either responds very slowly or is unable to respond at all to authentic user requests. Another thing DDoS attacks do is obstruct network connections from the server to user machines, thus disconnecting or blocking all communication.

The need for DDoS Mitigation Services

There has been, therefore, the emergence of companies whose main aim is to provide DDoS attack mitigation programs in order to ensure business continuity. DDoS attacks continue to evolve facilitating the need for company sourcing for more network resources to keep afloat. Traditional DDoS mitigation programs are no longer effective and thus which is why the need to maintain network security has risen to keep up to date with the current trends and DDoS mitigation services. An effective DDoS mitigating solution should have the following features:

Upcoming trends that make the internet susceptible to DDoS attacks

  1. Open source tools – Not only is open source software available to the vast majority of people, but its wide availability only makes various innovative, destructive applications. Useful software can therefore be rebuilt and redesigned leading to the creation of new attacks. These tools prove very difficult to remove from the internet.
  2. Increased dependency on the internet – Virtually everyone depends on the internet for one thing or the other. People get directions on their phones using the internet and most people depend on internet connectivity in order to update devices such as computers and other electronic devices. Such dependency, also referred to as ‘the internet of things,’ therefore guarantees that we can only expect more DDoS attacks.
  3. Targets on corporate internet connections – Most office internet connections do not implement DDoS mitigation procedures, a weakness that can be easily be identified and exploited. A small but well carried out attack could bring a major business to a halt.
  4. Cloud dependency – Most businesses are no longer autonomous in the way technology runs. That is to say that as opposed to the conventional way of having one server connected to various users in one organization, several organizations have been found to use one server. Developers have found a way to integrate safety features into open source tools to ward off DDoS attacks. With all facts considered, the system should run without any glitches, but if one of the overlapping systems was under a DDoS attack, all the systems would be affected and it would be hard to establish exactly which system is under attack. Cloud services have been found to be principal targets of DDoS attacks.
  5. Migration to IPv6 – This has been the trend lately as the aforementioned has been presumed as a more protected networking protocol as opposed to IPv4. This inaccurate information has been mainly due to the fact that the former supports IPsec. Although this may be the case, it is important to note that most arrangements employ IPsec. Some experts argue that security is not done at layer 3, a statement strongly negated by other experts, who argue that security is done at every other network layer and most especially layer 3. Layer 3, which has been mostly overlooked in protocol structure, continues to suffer attacks regardless of whether the user is on IPv6 or IPv4.
  6. Mitigation against attacks – The more technicians try to come up with new and effective mitigation procedures against DDoS attacks, an equivalently higher number of cyber weapons are made geared towards bypassing such procedures. Over time, fast and smart botnets have become the trend instead of just having the largest botnet.
  7. Internet hacktivism, vigilantism and sponsored attacks – Cybercrimes such as hacking have been used more frequently now than ever to take a business down or disrupt it simply because of ideological differences. As opposed to earlier cybercrimes whose main motivation was for cyber criminals to extort money from businesses, recent cybercrimes are based on pure malice and this phenomenon can only be expected to increase in the future. Vigilantism is more or less just like hacktivism except that in this case, the cyber criminals believe that in taking a business down through DDoS attacks, they are promoting a larger cause. Sponsored attacks happen where one country decides to take another down through their internet resources, severing and crippling one or various sectors in the target country. Cybercrimes become a problem especially because of the diversity in international laws on Internet crimes.
  8. An influx in new users – The new users are not necessarily educated and informed on what constitutes cybercrimes, making them exploit what has previously been unavailable to them through the launching of DDoS attacks.

The emerging forms of DDoS attacks

  1. Volumetric attacks
    These are attacks which overflow a target network with data packets and wholly saturate the available network bandwidth, causing traffic congestion and an overload of the server disrupting legitimate users from gaining access to the server. Over time, they have become larger and more sophisticated and last longer than expected.
  1. HTTP Flood
    Unlike the POD attacks, HTTP floods do not use malformed packets or spoofing. It simply works on the GET or POST requests of a web server or application, and requires a much lesser bandwidth to work. It is most effective when the server or the application has to be forced to allocate the maximum resources for every single request.
  1. UDP flood
    The UDP flood or the User Datagram Protocol flood targets the off-session protocols. The threats are on the random ports of multiple UDPs, causing the host to incessantly check the application listing on that port. This way the host’s resources are sapped which can eventually lead to its inaccessibility.
  1. SYN Flood
    This type of attack usually affects the TCP connection sequence. This is usually the case with most SYN Flood attacks. The SYN flood sends multiple SYN requests to the host, but either does not respond to the host’s SYN-ACK message or sends the SYN requests from a malicious IP address. Both scenarios cause the same effect – the host’s system waits continuously for the acknowledgement, until which no new connection can be established, therefore ending it in denial of service.

Historic and not so Recent Forms of DDoS Attacks

  1. Sloworis
    This is one of the most targeted attacks on a server enabling one to take down the other without disrupting any other port or service of the targeted network. It does so by sending a partial request to the host server and creating a connection.
  1. Ping of Death
    Ping of death or “POD” is different type of volumetric attack where the attacker sends multiple malformed pings to the computer. These pings contain a large IP packet which when reassembled exceeds 65,535 bytes. This is when the memory buffers for the IP packets get overflown and the computer is denied service for legitimate packets henceforth.

Steps to Ensure Proper DDoS Mitigation

External Links:

Digital Attack Map (Top daily DDoS attacks worldwide)