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.

Risk

9/11/2013
04:30 PM
50%
50%

Federal DDoS Warnings Are Outdated

We shouldn't be relying on sporadic government warnings about potential distributed denial of service attacks. Having a comprehensive DDoS plan already in place is security 101.

Iris Scans: Security Technology In Action
Iris Scans: Security Technology In Action
(click image for larger view)
It's always the same: Government cybersecurity experts learn of pending distributed denial of service attacks, especially around the anniversary of Sept. 11, and issue warning after warning after warning, as though security is something we can do on a "per-warning" basis.

I really don't understand this way of approaching security or why government agencies believe such warnings are helpful. I'm not saying we shouldn't be warned -- not at all. What I'm saying is that we shouldn't wait for a warning before we do something about security.

On Aug. 5, for instance, the FBI issued a warning that the same groups behind the unsuccessful Operations USA and Operation Israel attacks in May were planning a new DDoS attack. Their recommendations leave me perplexed. For instance, they suggest:

-- Implement backup and recovery plans. Really? We're supposed to wait for a warning on a 9/11 DDoS threat to know that we need to do this? We're in serious trouble if that's the case.

[ Yes, the National Security Agency snoops on cell phones. Here's how: NSA Vs. Your Smartphone: 5 Facts. ]

-- Scan and monitor emails for malware. Again, really? This is a recommendation? Is there truly anyone out there who still doesn't do this? And, if there is, they deserve whatever happens to their network, I say.

-- Outline DDoS mitigation strategies. Finally, something a bit more relevant. I know for a fact that most companies aren't putting much thought into DDoS defense strategy. Unfortunately, if you're hosting a server with public access, you've no choice but to consider this with the utmost seriousness. Just how seriously, you ask? Well, that all depends on how much of your company's livelihood hinges on that server.

It's an undeniable fact of our Internet life that these things will keep happening. No matter if it's 9/11 or OpUSA or a private single hacker from Russia or China. They'll continue to happen, and we all understand the need to be prepared.

DDoS preparedness is accomplished as a strategy. It involves hardware, large bandwidth, ISP collaboration, remote redundancy and other possible strategies for defense and elusion. This isn't anti-malware. You can't create a signature or heuristic against DDoS. This is sheer brute force in that you win if you're stronger, or if you're the more elusive, so they can't really get you.

And that's precisely why you need a strategy, and you need to plan it now. You can also purchase hardware -- but make it part of a strategy. Don't expect it to be the one and only thing you need to do to fend off a DDoS attack.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
solardalek
50%
50%
solardalek,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/16/2013 | 2:44:10 PM
re: Federal DDoS Warnings Are Outdated
>> DDoS warnings seem to fall in the same category of the color coded
terrorist alert warnings that DHS started issuing after 9/11. Some
action seems more defensible than no action.

You sure about that? Have you noticed that we've been in "orange" forever?

Rather than wait for some slow committee-driven alert, why not look for DDoS signs from your own systems? Get something like SolarWinds "Log & Event Manager", then watch for high alert traffic volumes or specific messages about IP lockouts, ridiculous connection attempts and other signals of an attack yourself.

To misquote Donnie from "Mystery Alaska": This is log analysis, OK? It's not rocket surgery."
WKash
50%
50%
WKash,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/12/2013 | 9:16:43 PM
re: Federal DDoS Warnings Are Outdated
DDoS warnings seem to fall in the same category of the color coded terrorist alert warnings that DHS started issuing after 9/11. Some action seems more defensible than no action.
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 5/28/2020
GDPR Enforcement Loosens Amid Pandemic
Seth Rosenblatt, Contributing Writer,  5/27/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
How Cybersecurity Incident Response Programs Work (and Why Some Don't)
This Tech Digest takes a look at the vital role cybersecurity incident response (IR) plays in managing cyber-risk within organizations. Download the Tech Digest today to find out how well-planned IR programs can detect intrusions, contain breaches, and help an organization restore normal operations.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-5572
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
Android App 'Mailwise for Android' 1.0.0 to 1.0.1 allows an attacker to obtain credential information registered in the product via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2020-5573
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
Android App 'kintone mobile for Android' 1.0.0 to 2.5 allows an attacker to obtain credential information registered in the product via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2020-13693
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-29
An unauthenticated privilege-escalation issue exists in the bbPress plugin before 2.6.5 for WordPress when New User Registration is enabled.
CVE-2020-13173
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
Initialization of the pcoip_credential_provider in Teradici PCoIP Standard Agent for Windows and PCoIP Graphics Agent for Windows versions 19.11.1 and earlier creates an insecure named pipe, which allows an attacker to intercept sensitive information or possibly elevate privileges via pre-installing...
CVE-2019-6342
PUBLISHED: 2020-05-28
An access bypass vulnerability exists when the experimental Workspaces module in Drupal 8 core is enabled. This can be mitigated by disabling the Workspaces module. It does not affect any release other than Drupal 8.7.4.