New Record 1.7Tbps DDoS Also Abused Memcached Servers

New Record 1.7Tbps DDoS Also Abused Memcached Servers

A U.S. service provider weathered the biggest ever denial of service attack earlier this month without suffering outages, Netscout Arbor has revealed.

Arbor Networks' Carlos Morales predicts memcached attacks won't be going away any time soon because of the number of exposed memcached servers.

The latest trend in such attacks is to use misconfigured memcached servers to launch high-volume User Datagram Protocol (UDP) reflection/amplification attacks. "And UDP is a connectionless protocol that makes it susceptible to address spoofing - you can send packets from one internet address but say you're from another address".

These servers are created to speed up websites and internet services. "All memcached traffic is sourced from UDP port 11211 which is not a common application port so little or no legitimate traffic on this port should be seen from transit networks".

The firm claimed that while memcached DDoS attacks were once the preserve of skilled attackers, it's likely that these capabilities have been weaponized as a service for a wider pool of cyber-criminals - leading to the uptick in attacks.

"It's quite hard to protect a site that is being DOSed by such attacks".

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The size of DDoS attacks - which attempt to force websites offline with a flood of malicious traffic - has skyrocketed in recent years.

With more than 100,000 vulnerable systems online, eliminating this source of unprecedented DDoS attacks will be hard.

"Due to the nature of both the memcached service/protocol implementation as well as the prevalence and high bandwidth typically available to memcached reflectors/amplifiers, it is critical that network operators take proactive measures to ensure they are prepared to detect, classify, traceback, and mitigate these attacks, as well as ensure that any memcached installations on their networks and/or networks of their end-customers can not be exploited as reflectors/amplifiers", it added.

"If major internet services such as what we have seen with the Dyn DNS case were to be targeted, it will not be far off to expect most internet services to be affected", Chong told SearchSecurity. DDoS is here to stay, and there will always be new exploits on new services that will continue to set new records.

A week earlier, Akamai confirmed the first ever terabit attack, recorded at 1.3Tbps, against GitHub.

"The attack was based on the same memcached reflection/amplification attack vector that made up the Github attack".

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