Reflection DDoS Attacks Continue to be dangerous in Q3 2014

Pierluigi Paganini October 10, 2014

The last report issued by Arbor ATLAS Shows an increase in Reflection DDoS Attacks in Q3 2014, specifically for SSDP reflection attacks.

Arbor Networks has published the quarterly report on global DDoS attack data related to Q3 2014, the slides show the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack trends for the first three quarters of 2013. The data show that DDoS attacks continue to represent an insidious threat, with an alarming increase in the Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) reflection attacks.

DDoS attack Q3 2014 slide

The company observed a significant increase in Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) reflection attacks respect the previous quarter, passing from a few cases to more than 30,000 attacks and in one case the experts noticed a DDoS attack reaching 124Gbps.

DDoS attack Q3 2014

The experts are particularly concerned by the increase in volume of the attacks, they used the term “The Hockey Stick Era” to refer the trend.

“The data confirms what Arbor has called The Hockey Stick Era, with a continuing trend towards large volumetric attacks, a consistent theme throughout 2014.”

The researchers explained how the attackers are improving the DDoS amplification methods exploiting new protocols like SSDP, early 2014 the US-CERT issued an Alert (TA14-017A) related to the increase in the number of DDoS attacks abusing of the following protocols:

  • DNS
  • NTP
  • SNMPv2
  • NetBIOS
  • SSDP
  • CharGEN
  • QOTD
  • BitTorrent
  • Kad
  • Quake Network Protocol
  • Steam Protocol

DDoS attack Q3 2014 2

In February it has been detected the largest ever 400Gbps Distributed Denial of Service NTP Amplification attack that hit Europe servers of anti-DDoS protection firm Cloudfare. To give you an idea of the efficiency of amplification techniques I report the table below which include Bandwidth Amplification Factors for the specific protocols.

Distributed Denial of Service Amplification attack Amplification factors

“Everyone is aware of the huge storm of NTP reflection DDoS attacks in Q1 and early Q2, but although NTP reflection is still significant there isn’t as much going on now as there was – unfortunately, it is looking more and more like SSDP will be the next protocol to be exploited in this way.  Organizations should take heed and ensure that their DDoS defense is multi-layered, and designed to deal with both attacks that can saturate their connectivity, and more stealthy, sophisticated application layer attacks,” said Arbor Networks Director of Solutions Architects Darren Anstee.

Below the key finding of the DDoS attack data related to Q3 2014:

  • Significant growth in use of SSDP for reflection attacks in Q3; 4% of all attacks and 42% of all attacks greater than 10Gbps appeared to use SSDP reflection in Q3.
  • NTP reflection attacks still significant, but continuing to fall away proportionally (post the Q1 storm); however, over 50% of all attacks greater than 100Gbps were still NTP reflection attacks.
  • Very large volumetric attacks far more frequent than in the past, with 133 attacks over 100Gbps this year so far.
  • Average monitored attack in Q3 was 858.98Mbps; peak attack of 264.6Gbps.
  • Q3 saw 16.5% of all attacks above 1Gbps, up from 15.3% in Q2.
  • Proportion of events lasting less than 1 hour is gradually increasing, now at 91.2%
  • Ranking sources for events larger than 10Gbps: U.S. (7.6%), China (5.9%), Brazil (1.1%)
  • Ranking destinations for events larger than 10Gbps: U.S. (17.6%), France (10.8%), Denmark (8.4%)

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs –  DDoS, SSDP reflection attacks)

you might also like

leave a comment