03:01 PM
Tim Wilson
Tim Wilson
Quick Hits
Connect Directly

Are You Contributing To A DDoS Attack? Researcher Says You Might Be

Links distributed by Anonymous and others could make your computer part of the DDoS, Sophos says

Anonymous is using some creative new methods to generate its distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on federal agencies and entertainment companies, according to an analysis by researchers at Sophos.

As part of its protest against the SOPA legislation and the takedown of the Megaupload file-sharing site earlier this week, Anonymous has claimed responsibility for attacks that effectively disabled the websites of the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Motion Picture Association, among others.

"We Anonymous are launching our largest attack ever on government and music industry sites," Anonymous stated. "The FBI didn't think they would get away with this did they? They should have expected us."

In a blog about the Anonymous DDoS attacks, researchers at security firm Sophos suggest that the hacktivist group is using new tactics to add firepower to the exploit.

"In the past, Anonymous has encouraged supporters to install a program called LOIC [Low Orbit Ion Cannon], which allows computers to join in an attack on a particular website, blasting it with unwanted traffic," the Sophos blog observes.

"This time, things are slightly different: you only have to click on a web link to launch a DDoS attack," the blog says. "We've seen many links posted on Twitter, and no doubt elsewhere on the Internet, pointing to a page on the website. If you visit the webpage, and do not have JavaScript disabled, you will instantly, without user interaction, begin to flood a website of Anonymous's choice with unwanted traffic, helping to perpetuate a DDoS attack."

Sophos notes that participation in a DDoS attack is illegal, but Anonymous' approach might present a loophole in the law. "With this method, Anonymous might be hoping that participants could argue that they did not knowingly assist in the DDoS attack, and clicked on the link in innocence without realizing what it would do."

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2012 | 5:36:13 AM
re: Are You Contributing To A DDoS Attack? Researcher Says You Might Be
Good point Joe. Some organizations may simply not have thought about having a plan for dealing with DDoS.
Brian Prince, InformationWeek/Dark Reading Comment Moderator
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2012 | 4:56:36 AM
re: Are You Contributing To A DDoS Attack? Researcher Says You Might Be
But what i feel is , we can mitigate DDoS attack threats using web referral architecture for privilege users.-
User Rank: Apprentice
1/23/2012 | 9:48:30 AM
re: Are You Contributing To A DDoS Attack? Researcher Says You Might Be
The content was good and it would be better if the Anonymous Attacker is traced down and stopped.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2014-07-11
Dahua DVR 2.608.0000.0 and 2.608.GV00.0 allows remote attackers to bypass authentication and obtain sensitive information including user credentials, change user passwords, clear log files, and perform other actions via a request to TCP port 37777.

Published: 2014-07-11
Cumin (aka MRG Management Console), as used in Red Hat Enterprise MRG 2.5, does not include the HTTPOnly flag in a Set-Cookie header for the session cookie, which makes it easier for remote attackers to obtain potentially sensitive information via script access to this cookie.

Published: 2014-07-11
The REST API in the ovirt-engine in oVirt, as used in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (rhevm) 3.4, allows remote authenticated users to read arbitrary files and have other unspecified impact via unknown vectors, related to an XML External Entity (XXE) issue.

Published: 2014-07-11
Docker 1.0.0 uses world-readable and world-writable permissions on the management socket, which allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

Published: 2014-07-11
Apache Syncope 1.1.x before 1.1.8 uses weak random values to generate passwords, which makes it easier for remote attackers to guess the password via a brute force attack.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Marilyn Cohodas and her guests look at the evolving nature of the relationship between CIO and CSO.