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DDoS attacks being used as a smoke screen

By Shannon Williams
Wed 6 May 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Over the last ten years, DDoS attacks have possibly become the primary threat for every website or web application. 

That’s the word from Yariv Hazony, VP of product at cloud-based security solutions provider Sentrix. 

The ultimate goal of DDoS attacks is to bring down sites by flooding them with fake requests, usually from multiple locations. The outcome of such attacks ranges from slow page loads to blocking legitimate traffic.

“Among the thousands of DDoS attacks that happen every day, you’ll find attacks that last a number of days, as opposed to short-duration attacks that only take a few minutes for attackers to coordinate and launch at a time,” Hazony says. “These attacks are becoming much more commonplace, whether the goal is to take a site down or if they’re used as a smokescreen to divert site owners’ attention.”

He explains, “We can see that short-duration attacks use large volumes of traffic in short, shotgun-like bursts. Attackers leverage these short-duration attacks to evaluate which companies and organisations are easiest to infiltrate.

“We assume that this also has to do with the availability of resources. These types of attacks are more likely to come from smaller, private groups that are shorter on resources, as opposed to criminal groups or countries which have access to unlimited resources and can therefore launch long-duration attacks from day-one,” says Hazony.

Hazony says when it comes to short-burst attacks, time is of the essence. “Attacks are likely to go under the radar and leave no time to respond,” he says. “Organisations managing multiple web domains must have the ability to centralise incoming data, preferably by working with the same security vendor across all their domains. “

He says this enables them to predict attacks by analysing trends and patterns across their sites. 

“Organisations should demand this capability from their security vendors, who should also be willing to use data from various customers in order to predict potential attacks on other customers,” says Hazony.

“We see a growing number of short duration attacks across our customer base. Awareness to this new pattern is key: customers typically assume that the attack is over, while this may actually be a sign for a much larger attack coming through.”

In light of this new pattern, Hazony says using services and tools that can aggregate attack information across customers and websites is vital to predict and avoid the massive DDoS attacks about to come.

Yariv Hazony is VP Product at Sentrix, which provides protection against DDOS and other attacks against web applications.

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