Did you know that attacks of 250 Gbps or above encapsulate more than one-third of all DDoS attacks on networks? The size, volume, and advancement of distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults are increasing exponentially, making cyber defense intelligence imperative for all businesses. To fight against DDoS attack vectors, it is critical to understand how these attacks function and evaluate some of the commonly used combat strategies.
Be Aware of these 8 Malicious DDoS Attack Vectors
Volumetric attacks overburden a target network's available bandwidth by flooding it with data packets. These attacks generate massive amounts of traffic, overloading the targeted network or server and creating significant service disruption for genuine users attempting to obtain access. These attacks are becoming widespread, more complex, and can last for longer periods of time. They can bring down corporate servers within minutes. These network-level (layers 3 and 4) assaults are intended to overload a server's internet connection, network resources, and appliances that are unable to contain the increasing volumes.
Combo SYN Attacks
In the TCP connection sequence (the “three-way handshake”), the requester initiates a TCP connection by sending an SYN message to the host. The server responds with an SYN-ACK message, which is followed by the requester's receipt confirmation of the ACK message. This is how the network connection is established.
The requester sends several SYN messages to the targeted server but does not send any confirmation of the ACK messages in an SYN flood attack. They can also send fake SYN messages, which causes the server to transmit SYN-ACK responses to a forged IP address. The SYN flood binds server resources until no new connections are made, resulting in service denial.
A combination SYN flood consists of two types of SYN attacks: one that utilizes standard SYN packets and the other that employs big SYN packets larger than 250 bytes. Both attacks are carried out concurrently; standard SYN packets deplete server resources, for instance, CPU, whereas bigger packets create network saturation.
NTP Amplification Attacks
The computers leverage the Network Time Protocol (NTP) to synchronize their clocks over the net. NTP amplification attacks take advantage of a feature on NTP servers known as MONLIST. Attackers submit MONLIST requests to NTP servers by using a fake IP address of the target host. They can swiftly compromise the target server by overloading it with many data packets as they continue to leverage multiple susceptible NTP servers. Since the underlying UDP protocol does not require any handshaking, NTP amplification attacks can be huge by volume.
"Hit and Run" Attacks
Hit and run attacks, as the name suggests, include short packet bursts at random intervals over a long period of time. What distinguishes these threats from previous DDoS attack vectors? The duration of such attacks might range from days to weeks. On top of that, unlike other attacks, they are sporadic and are specifically designed to hamper slow-reacting anti-DDoS systems. To manage cyber risks like DDOS, enterprises need a comprehensive cybersecurity framework that enforces robust security policies and solutions. You need advanced cloud security solutions that extend beyond rule-based risk monitoring and threat recognition and leverage end-to-end threat investigation, detection, and mitigation. Despite the other kinds of sophisticated DDoS attacks, hit and run attacks remain popular because they are generally cost-effective and easy to deploy.
Browser-based bots are made up of malicious software code segments that run inside a web browser. The bots operate during a legitimate web browsing session; once the browser is closed, the bots cease to exist. When visitors visit a rogue website, browser-based bots are secretly installed on their PCs. From the hacked devices, several bots can then start attacking a targeted server at the same time.
To evade anti-DDoS defenses, some DDoS bots simulate browser behavior, such as cookie support. DDoS bot attacks are very harmful since they do not require a large volume of traffic to succeed. It simply takes 50-100 targeted requests per second to destroy a mid-size server. Bot attacks are difficult to detect and are often caught only after significant damage has been done.
Spoofed User Agents
Good bots, such as "Googlebots," are crucial to ensure that search engines properly index websites. So, it’s advisable not to block them, even by mistake. Spoofing user agents is a common attack tactic. To avoid detection, DDoS bots masquerade as "good" bots from respected sources such as Google or Yahoo. By using this strategy, bots can surpass low-level filters and go on to wreak havoc on target systems.
A botnet is a network of compromised computers on the internet that have been taken over by malware. Machine owners are frequently ignorant of harmful software intrusion, allowing attackers to remotely control their "zombie" PCs and enable DDoS attack vectors. In addition to personal computers, botnets might comprise hijacked hosting environments and various internet-connected devices (for instance, CCTV cameras with easily guessable default passwords).
Botnets are regularly shared either among hackers or are rented from others. They can share multiple owners and launch attacks against different targets using the same hacked devices. Shared botnets can be easily launched by non-technical individuals and sometimes these botnets are also available for hire on the internet.
DDoS attack operations have traditionally relied on a single attack type, or vector. However, there are attacks that are employing numerous channels to disable a network or server(s). Multivector attacks constitute three types of attack: Volumetric assaults, state-exhaustion attacks, and application layer attacks. A cybercriminal finds the multi-vector technique intriguing since it allows them to do collateral harm to a business or organization. These attacks can bring down many network resources or deploy one DDoS attack vector as a decoy while another, more dangerous vector serves as the primary weapon.
Don’t Wait for a DDoS Attack! Combat them and More Advanced Threats with Cloud4C
Traditional anti-DDoS devices are no longer adequate to address these issues. These include appliance-based solutions with bandwidth constraints, "on demand" mitigation that requires human intervention, rate-limiting solutions that are ineffective against IP spoofing, and delay/splash screens that degrade the user experience.
With Cloud4C’s Advanced Threat Protection, one of the leading managed security services providers, you can protect your critical databases and IT infrastructure from targeted hacks, intrusions, advanced malware and ransomware, and smart phishing assaults. Our end-to-end cybersecurity services come with a robust Security and Risk Assessment Workshop that equips you with risk analysis, detects anomalies, and delivers immediate recommendations to strengthen your organization’s cybersecurity posture. Create a one-of-a-kind cyber defense system supported by sophisticated threat intelligence, AI-powered security solutions, and a world-class SOC staff. To find out how, get in touch with us today!