Attacks/Breaches
2/2/2011
12:20 PM
50%
50%

DDoS Targeting Firewalls, Intrusion Prevention

Stateful firewalls and intrusion prevention systems placed in front of a Web server can create an effective distributed denial of service attack vector, reports network security vendor Arbor Networks.

Top 10 Security Stories Of 2010
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 10 Security Stories Of 2010

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have broken the 100 Gbps barrier, increasing in bandwidth by 102% over the past year, and by 1000% since 2005.

That finding comes from an infrastructure security report, released on Tuesday by DDoS protection and network security vendor Arbor Networks. The company surveyed 111 self-classified Tier 1, Tier 2, and other IP network operators from around the world, and found the volume and severity of attacks continues to increase.

"Network operators are facing a global Internet insurgency driven by the ubiquity of botnets. This has led to rapidly escalating DDoS attack size, frequency, and sophistication," said Roland Dobbins, a solutions architect at Arbor Networks, in a statement. "Adding to the challenges facing operators is the increasing number of attack vectors, including applications and services, not to mention the proliferation of mobile devices."

Historically, DDoS attacks involved flooding Web servers with so many fake packets that they choked. But Arbor says that attackers are increasingly targeting specific network weaknesses, such as misconfigured domain name servers (DNS), which require relatively fewer resources to knock offline. Last year, according to the report, 77% of network operators detected DDoS attacks targeted at their application layer, including DNS and Web portals.

Surprisingly, placing a stateful firewall (which attempts to track the state of network connections when filtering packets) or intrusion prevention system (IPS) in front of a Web server can create another effective DDoS attack vector. "These devices can render networks more susceptible to attacks as the state tables on even the most scalable versions available can be overwhelmed with a moderate size DDoS attack," said Arbor. Indeed, half of the Internet data center operators surveyed said they'd experienced a firewall or IPS outage as the result of a DDoS attack.

As the sophistication and scale of DDoS attacks continues to increase, the report finds network operators struggling to keep up. In particular, they face insufficient security team funding, a shortage of skilled talent, poorly defined employee responsibilities, and incomplete security policies.

Interestingly, when network operators do experience a security breach, they're unlikely to report it to law enforcement. "This is due to both a lack of network operator resources and a lack of confidence in the ability of law enforcement to successfully investigate these incidents, especially in a multijurisdictional context," said Arbor.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-5084
Published: 2015-08-02
The Siemens SIMATIC WinCC Sm@rtClient and Sm@rtClient Lite applications before 01.00.01.00 for Android do not properly store passwords, which allows physically approximate attackers to obtain sensitive information via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5352
Published: 2015-08-02
The x11_open_helper function in channels.c in ssh in OpenSSH before 6.9, when ForwardX11Trusted mode is not used, lacks a check of the refusal deadline for X connections, which makes it easier for remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions via a connection outside of the permitted time ...

CVE-2015-5537
Published: 2015-08-02
The SSL layer of the HTTPS service in Siemens RuggedCom ROS before 4.2.0 and ROX II does not properly implement CBC padding, which makes it easier for man-in-the-middle attackers to obtain cleartext data via a padding-oracle attack, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-3566.

CVE-2015-5600
Published: 2015-08-02
The kbdint_next_device function in auth2-chall.c in sshd in OpenSSH through 6.9 does not properly restrict the processing of keyboard-interactive devices within a single connection, which makes it easier for remote attackers to conduct brute-force attacks or cause a denial of service (CPU consumptio...

CVE-2015-1009
Published: 2015-07-31
Schneider Electric InduSoft Web Studio before 7.1.3.5 Patch 5 and Wonderware InTouch Machine Edition through 7.1 SP3 Patch 4 use cleartext for project-window password storage, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading a file.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
What’s the future of the venerable firewall? We’ve invited two security industry leaders to make their case: Join us and bring your questions and opinions!