ISPs Likely to Face Massive DDoS Attacks This Year
According to the security firm Arbor Networks, the top operational security issue which the Internet Service Providers worldwide are facing currently is botnet-enabled DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks aimed to bother services and applications.
As per the firm's fifth annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report, around 35% of the respondents who were surveyed consider that more advanced attacks on services and applications symbolize the biggest operational threat this year, ousting large scale botnet-driven attacks, which stood second at 21%.
However, Arbor Networks also reported that the magnitude of DDoS attacks slamming their infrastructures did not raise much between Q3 2008 and Q3 2009 as compared to the previous years, which is being considered a positive sign. However, the magnitude still climbed over 20%.
The security experts explained that service providers stated that the highest DDoS assault rates had traditionally followed the trend of doubling year-on-year. However, in 2009, 49 Gbps (gigabit per second) was the biggest sustained assault rate, an increase of 22% over 2008's highest rate of 40 Gbps. On the contrary, 40 Gbps assault rate of 2008 represented an increase of 67% over the biggest attack recorded in the survey of 2007.
Besides this, a number of respondents said that in 2009, their organization had experienced service-level attacks focusing their DNS infrastructure (distributed domain name system), large-scale SQL server backend infrastructure, or load balancer. As a result, a few organizations faced multi-hour breakdowns of prominent Internet services.
Further, more than 50% of the providers surveyed reported that service-level attacks at one Gigabit or of lesser bandwidth levels have grown. According to the report, these types of attacks are also botnet-driven and are purposely crafted to exploit service flaws, such as computational resource limitations and expensive and vulnerable back-end queries.
Experts, commenting on the findings of the report, said that any of the abovementioned changes would encompass a considerable operational and architectural challenge for the network operators. Collectively, these changes signify the biggest and probably most troublesome group of circumstances in the Internet's history, given its development in significance to global commerce and communications.
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