Denial-of-Service Attacks Continue to Grow in Sophistication, Capacity
Large-packet and reflection attacks ratchet up the bandwidth of denial-of-service in the first three months of 2014, according to a report from Web security firm Incapsula.Massive distributed denial-of-service attacks using infrastructure servers to amplify floods of data have garnered much attention in the past year. But other attack techniques using a more basic network packet account for the majority of large-volume DDoS attacks, according to a report published by Internet-security firm Incapsula. In the 2013-2014 DDoS Threat Landscape Report, published on March 27, the security firm found that DDoS attacks that request network connections using larger-than-normal SYN packets have become very popular and now account for more than 51 percent of large-bandwidth attacks. Meanwhile, amplification attacks using the domain name system (DNS) protocol and network time protocol (NTP) account for 35 percent and almost 14 percent of large packet floods, respectively. In many cases, these attacks are used in conjunction with other types of more subtle denial-of-service attacks. Such multi-vector attacks are more difficult to stop, according to Igal Zeifman, product developer at Incapsula. "I think that most of the general public thinks of DDoS as a single vector—either a SYN flood or an NTP reflection attack—but 81 percent of events are multi-vector DDoS events," Zeifman said. "Many of the organizations who try to tackle the problem by themselves, and that's OK if they do, will be facing attacks that come from several directions at once."
Only 19 percent of attacks use a single kind of denial-of-service strategy, according to Incapsula's report. More than 41 percent use two vectors, another 32 percent use three vectors, and almost 8 percent use four or more types of DDoS attacks to accomplish their mission, the report stated.