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11/26/2013
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Survey: DDos Is Hot, Planning Is Not

Most organizations don't have a game plan in the event of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks continue to plague major corporations today, but half of organizations don't have a plan or defense against DDoS attacks, a new survey found.

Nearly 45 percent of organizations surveyed by Corero have no DDoS response plan, while some 21 percent don't have a response team set up in the case of a DDoS attack targeting their networks. Around 60 percent say they don't have a designated DDoS response team, and 40 percent say they don't have a point of contact within their organizations when a DDoS hits, according to the survey of some 100 respondents.

"Half of them aren't really doing anything about DDoS. They're just hoping nothing will happen to them, or they [will just be] putting up with inconvenience it's causing in the meantime," says Ashley Stephenson, CEO of Corero, which will release full data from the survey next month.

Stephenson says he has seen cases where corporations had no idea that their own computing resources were being used in DDoS attacks against them. "A lot of people are not really paying attention to what's going on, and that's facilitating the malicious activity going on out there," he says.

More than 54 percent of the organizations surveyed say they have either an out-of-date network diagram of their infrastructures or no diagram at all. Some 66 percent don't have statistics on network traffic patterns and traffic volume baselines to help identify when a DDoS is brewing.

One of the reasons DDoS attacks have become so popular is that they are relatively inexpensive to pull off. "It's a cheap resource being used to launch the attacks," Stephenson says. "And the more we invest in good Internet [technology], the greater power is available for third parties to leverage it and do these attacks ... [The attackers] are just cataloging all of these vulnerabilities and exploitable resources and calling on them when necessary to affect the attack."

Compromised desktop machines traditionally have been the most popular weapons for DDoSing a target, but, increasingly, attackers are deploying servers for more firepower. "That takes fewer bots but much more powerful [ones]," Stephenson says.

A recent report by Dell SecureWorks revealed just how much DDoS-for-hire services cost in the cyberunderground. Those services cost only $3 to $5 per hour and $90 to $100 per day, Dell SecureWorks found. And a weeklong attack goes for $400 to $600.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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