About DDoS Attacks

About DDoS Attacks

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are a common threat to the uptime of websites, servers, and networks. Practically non-existent in 1999, over the 15 years DDoS attacks have become the most serious and difficult to mitigate problem facing systems administrators and network operators. Historically, DDoS attacks existed only on the fringe of the internet, rarely impacting actual companies. Today, DDoS attacks far exceed the capabilities of most service providers and enterprises to manage, often requiring the expertise of tenured DDoS mitigtion experts like Black Lotus.

DDoS attacks are particularly difficult to manage due to the extremely high capital costs of building attack mitigation infrastructure, and the relative lack of expertise in operating protected networks. Attackers can easily gain control of infected bots to launch attacks, or even amplify attacks by exploiting vulnerabilities in public services which utilize the user datagram protocol (UDP) such as domain name system (DNS) or network time protocol (NTP) services.

What, exactly, is a DDoS attack?

DDoS attacks are an attempt by a malicious party to overload systems and networks with malicious requests so that they can no longer serve content. For a website, this means that the site will not load and customers are unable to make purchases, view content, or log into accounts. For networks, DDoS attacks can cause bandwidth saturation or even inundate network infrastructure, causing widespread outages to customers on the entire network. These attacks are particularly dangerous as the perpetrators are extremely intelligent and are always thinking one step ahead of security professionals attempting to build and maintain defenses. Even worse, a fully functional DDoS mitigation system capable of defeating todays attacks can easily cost millions of dollars, causing many enterprises to operate with insufficient security while forcing service providers to ask their customers to fend for themselves.

How severe is the DDoS problem?

One major factor which make DDoS attacks a serious problem is the difficulty in keeping DDoS mitigation systems relevant against the rapidly proliferating capabilities of the attackers. In 1999, 800 Mbps, now within the capacity of most modern networks, was considered a large and devastating threat. Today, attacks easily exceed 400 Gbps and are expected to exceed 800 Gbps by 2015. This means that even if a company were to implement a DDoS mitigation solution today, that same solution could become completely obsolete in a matter of one to two years.

Preventing obsolescence with Black Lotus

Black Lotus is the preeminent solution for service providers and enterprises who need to continuously defend their companies against DDoS attacks without the ongoing concern that an attacker might discover a new attack vector or service vulnerability that could enable attacks in excess of the company's organic capabilities or that of their chosen DDoS mitigation service. Since 2013, Black Lotus has invested nearly $10 million in its global carrier grade DDoS mitigation network and continues to protect the network's capabilities against obsolescence.