Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.



09:35 AM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now

Arbor Networks: 1.7Tbit/s DDoS Attack Sets Record

Arbor Networks detected and fought off a 1.7Tbit/s DDoS attack targeting a US-based service provider. The attack, which set new records, appeared to use Memcache as an enabler.

The terabit attack era has arrived, according to Arbor Networks.

Earlier this week, Arbor published a blog that detailed a 1.7 terabit per second (Tbit/s) distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack aimed at a US-based service provider. This follows a 1.3Tbit/s attack that targeted GitHub on March 1.

In both cases, it appears the group behind these DDoS attacks used Memcache as an enabler. Memcache is an open source distributed memory caching system. In most cases, the servers keep web pages available. However, the servers work with a large number of open connections.

Earlier this month, Arbor, Cloudflare and Qihoo 360's Network Security Research Laboratory (Netlab) all reported they detected DDoS attacks that used this amplification method. The attack appeared to push the amount of traffic up by a factor of 51,000. Specifically, it appears San Francisco-based Second Life was one of the first to encounter this type of DDoS attack in February. (See Memcache Servers Being Used to Launch Massive DDoS Attacks.)

(Source: Arbor Networks)
(Source: Arbor Networks)

The DDoS attack works in a traditional way: An attacker sends a request to a server with a spoofed IP request, and that request is then sent to a different IP address, which is the true target. Eventually the network is overwhelmed. However, with amplification, response packets are larger than the request packets sent to vulnerable servers, which amps up traffic to the network.

Previously, the largest DDoS -- which measured 650 Gbit/s -- targeted an organization in Brazil in 2016, according to Arbor.

In this week's blog post, Arbor noted the service provider's network did not go down despite the size of the attack.

"The attack was based on the same memcached reflection/amplification attack vector that made up the Github attack," Carlos Morales, Arbor's vice president of Global Sales Engineering and Operations, wrote on March 5.

The fundamentals of network security are being redefined – don't get left in the dark by a DDoS attack! Join us in Austin from May 14-16 at the fifth annual Big Communications Event. There's still time to register and communications service providers get in free!

Part of the vulnerability enterprises face is due to widespread use of Memcached servers, although organizations are working to close some of these systems. At the same time, many of these servers are left exposed to the open Internet despite needing to be closed off and placed behind a firewall.

"The sheer number of servers running memcached openly will make this a lasting vulnerability that attackers will exploit," Morales wrote.

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World
Download the Enterprise Cybersecurity Plans in a Post-Pandemic World report to understand how security leaders are maintaining pace with pandemic-related challenges, and where there is room for improvement.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-26
btcpayserver is vulnerable to Improper Neutralization of Input During Web Page Generation ('Cross-site Scripting')
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-25
There is an information leak vulnerability in the message service app of a ZTE mobile phone. Due to improper parameter settings, attackers could use this vulnerability to obtain some sensitive information of users by accessing specific pages.
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-24
Shopkit v2.7 contains a reflective cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the /account/register component, which allows attackers to hijack user credentials via a crafted payload in the E-Mail text field.
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-24
A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) in Maccms v10 via admin.php/admin/admin/del/ids/<id>.html allows authenticated attackers to delete all users.
PUBLISHED: 2021-09-24
OpenNMS version 18.0.1 and prior are vulnerable to a stored XSS issue due to insufficient filtering of SNMP trap supplied data. By creating a malicious SNMP trap, an attacker can store an XSS payload which will trigger when a user of the web UI views the events list page. This issue was fixed in ver...