Netscout: Combat DDoS Attacks with Threat Intelligence

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Know Your Enemy: DDoS

In the realm of security, specifically concerning distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) activity, knowing your enemy can prove advantageous in creating measures to defend your network from attacks. But unfortunately, this approach in the DDoS arena can be overwhelming. Although IP addresses are theoretically limited, determining which ones bad actors are using is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

DDoS assaults are essentially surges in system requests that surpass the capacity of the internet connection of your network or data center. They could also shoot up system demands that disables other vulnerable targets on your network that offer availability to particular business processes.

A volumetric cyberattack, for example, may send enough requests to your network to exhaust your internet circuit capacity, rendering the network incapable of accepting any more requests and therefore becomes unavailable to customers and users.

In a flood of attacks, the requests fill up a state table on a peripheral device such as a firewall, preventing that device from delivering access to the asset it is protecting.

For bad actors to accomplish these malicious attacks, they utilize machines specifically designed to send a high volume of requests. They also employ other devices for hijacking various networks to increase their actions and meet their needs. These commandeered machines are called bots, and groups of machines (bots) designed to work together are called botnets. These botnet armies, especially in Internet of Things (IoT) devices, has increased every year since they emerged in 2007. 

NETSCOUT reported in their Threat Intelligence Report for the second half of 2021, since 2007, cybercriminals have relentlessly attacked IoT devices—an attempt to co-opt them into their botnet armies. Sadly, such actions are potent. In reality, mere consumer-grade firewalls protect numerous IoT devices. Or worse, these devices have no firewall. NETSCOUT also stated, 

"In fact, many consumer IoT devices have little to no security, and they’re often installed using only default credentials, thereby rolling out a welcome mat for attackers."

DDoS attackers rely on this inadequate architecture to launch security breaches.

A strategy for decreasing this type of attack that network operators have found beneficial is collecting the source location or IP address information in which they originate. It can also be the location of the attacking bots, so that their team can immediately implement network policies to stop all traffic from those locations during an attack.

Further analysis of the acquired attack data for each DDoS attack source origination point may find more DDoS botnet members and other network infrastructure used to carry out attacks. In doing so, your security team can boost existing mitigation efforts and prevent future attacks.

Using this acquired data can give some limited knowledge to aid in suppressing DDoS assaults. However, if this source IP or bot location data is acquired during network attacks, the data will be relatively restricted. The collective threat intelligence will improve if you interact with other partner networks and collect their attack data. The confirmed source data or origin IP addresses from every DDoS attack that is live or has been utilized in the past are the foremost threat intelligence for increasing your leverage against these kinds of attacks.

Combat DDoS with Actionable Threat Intelligence

The Omnis ATLAS Intelligence Feed (AIF) provides customers with actionable threat intelligence because of the unique global DDoS attack visibility of NETSCOUT. This capability extends to more than one-third of all internet traffic, the data collected on millions of DDoS attacks, and the world-class expertise to analyze this data for DDoS suspects. The amount of rapid, reliable, actionable threat data provided by AIF regarding current active DDoS botnet attack sources enables precise, automated attack blockage while decreasing the chance of false positives. This includes the capacity to detect and prevent attacks at all protocol levels, including application-layer and encrypted attacks.

AIF botnet threat intelligence has stopped DDoS attack sources more than 300 million times in its initial days of being available to clients.

Knowing your enemies might sometimes mean analyzing them as they attack and spotting flaws as the combat progresses. But it is preferable to obtain assistance from other entities that have previously fought and learned from their wins.

Explore and learn more about how NETSCOUT’S Omnis ATLAS Intelligence Feed (AIF) provides active threat intelligence today.

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