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.


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 pastehtml.com 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 Reading.com, 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.
How SolarWinds Busted Up Our Assumptions About Code Signing
Dr. Jethro Beekman, Technical Director,  3/3/2021
'ObliqueRAT' Now Hides Behind Images on Compromised Websites
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  3/2/2021
Attackers Turn Struggling Software Projects Into Trojan Horses
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/26/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: George has not accepted that the technology age has come to an end.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-08
The package github.com/pires/go-proxyproto before 0.5.0 are vulnerable to Denial of Service (DoS) via the parseVersion1() function. The reader in this package is a default bufio.Reader wrapping a net.Conn. It will read from the connection until it finds a newline. Since no limits are implemented in ...
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in MantisBT before 2.24.5. It associates a unique cookie string with each user. This string is not reset upon logout (i.e., the user session is still considered valid and active), allowing an attacker who somehow gained access to a user's cookie to login as them.
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
This affects all versions of package github.com/nats-io/nats-server/server. Untrusted accounts are able to crash the server using configs that represent a service export/import cycles. Disclaimer from the maintainers: Running a NATS service which is exposed to untrusted users presents a heightened r...
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.11.3. drivers/scsi/scsi_transport_iscsi.c is adversely affected by the ability of an unprivileged user to craft Netlink messages.
PUBLISHED: 2021-03-07
An issue was discovered in the Linux kernel through 5.11.3. Certain iSCSI data structures do not have appropriate length constraints or checks, and can exceed the PAGE_SIZE value. An unprivileged user can send a Netlink message that is associated with iSCSI, and has a length up to the maximum length...