Volumetric attacks – IP stresses strategy in flood-based onslaughts

Volumetric attacks - IP stresses strategy in flood-based onslaughts

These attacks, characterized by an overwhelming volume of traffic targeting a specific network or server, disrupt online services, compromise data integrity, and lead to severe financial losses. Among the various tools employed by cybercriminals, IP stressers or booters play a prominent role in orchestrating such volumetric attacks.  IP stressers operate by leveraging a network of compromised computers, forming a botnet. These botnets are then used to flood the target’s network with a massive volume of traffic. The sheer scale of this traffic overwhelms the target’s resources, rendering its online services temporarily or permanently inaccessible. The traffic generated by IP stressers takes various forms, including HTTP, UDP, and DNS requests.

Accessibility and anonymity

The alarming aspect of IP stressers is their accessibility. Cybercriminals easily find and purchase these services on the dark web or other underground forums. The anonymity provided by cryptocurrency transactions makes it challenging to trace the individuals behind these attacks.

Amplification techniques

IP Stresser often employs amplification techniques to maximize the impact of their attacks. This involves sending a small request to a vulnerable server that will generate a much larger response to the target. DNS amplification, for example, exploits the inherent vulnerabilities in the DNS protocol, allowing attackers to generate a massive response from a DNS server with a small request.

Service disruption

The most immediate impact of volumetric attacks is service disruption. Organizations, whether they are businesses, government entities, or online platforms, face downtime that leads to loss of revenue, damage to reputation, and frustrated users.

Financial consequences

Volumetric attacks result in significant financial consequences for targeted entities. The cost of mitigating the attack, potential legal liabilities, and the revenue lost during the downtime add up to substantial financial losses.

Data integrity and confidentiality

In some cases, volumetric attacks may serve as a distraction to divert attention from more sinister activities. While defenders are focused on mitigating the DDoS attack, cybercriminals may attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in the targeted system to compromise data integrity or breach confidential information.

Reputation damage

Beyond immediate financial losses, the reputational damage caused by service has long-lasting effects. Customers and users may lose trust in the organization’s ability to provide reliable and secure services, leading to a decline in customer loyalty.

Traffic scrubbing services

Traffic scrubbing services, offered by many cybersecurity providers, analyze incoming traffic in real-time and filter out malicious requests. These services help distinguish legitimate traffic from the volumetric attack, allowing organizations to maintain online services even during an ongoing DDoS attack.

Anomaly detection and machine learning

Implementing anomaly detection and machine learning algorithms to identify abnormal traffic patterns associated with volumetric attacks. By continuously analysing network behavior, these systems adapt to evolving threats and improve overall detection accuracy.

Collaborative defense

Collaborative defense involves sharing threat intelligence and attack data among different organizations and security vendors. This collaborative approach enables a quicker response to emerging threats and enhances the collective resilience of the cybersecurity community.