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Tech Giants Foil Massive DDoS Attack To Save The Internet From Doom!

By TD NewsDesk

TD NewsDesk

Updated on Thu, Oct 12, 2023

Overall Rating
In the high-stakes world of digital technology, a menacing new villain has appeared, putting tech giants in a tight spot. Meet DDoS attacks (Distributed Denial of Service) - a cyber evil that was recently unleashed on the internet's very foundations. Fret not; a group of tech heroes rose to the challenge, ready to protect the digital realm with all their might! 

(Hmmm..we know that sounded a bit dramatic but tech giants have actually emerged as heroes in combating DDoS attacks. Here’s more on that!)

In an unprecedented display of cybersecurity prowess, technology titans Cloudflare, Google, Microsoft and Amazon recently thwarted what they have described as the most massive layer 7 DDoS attacks recorded in August and September. Although the targets of these attacks remain undisclosed, the colossal scale of the attack has left the tech industry astounded.

Let's understand why there is this chaos about DDoS attacks:
  • DDoS attacks have become increasingly common in recent times. In June, Microsoft reported a substantial layer seven attack that temporarily crippled Outlook for thousands of its users.

  • The success in mitigating these attacks can be attributed to a newfound vulnerability in the HTTP/2 protocol, dubbed "HTTP/2 Rapid Reset." This protocol is renowned for accelerating webpage loading times by facilitating multiple concurrent requests to a website over a single connection. However, malevolent actors exploited this feature by orchestrating a relentless barrage of "hundreds of thousands" of requests to websites employing HTTP/2, leading to the inundation of servers and, consequently, the shutdown of targeted platforms.

  • Among these tech giants, Google grappled with the most ferocious onslaught, witnessing an astonishing 398 million requests per second—over seven times larger than any previous attack in its records. Cloudflare, too, saw an unprecedented peak at 201 million requests per second. In contrast, Amazon reported comparatively fewer requests but still staggering at 155 million per second, while Microsoft chose to keep its figures under wraps.

Google has published a detailed account of how the attacks unfolded, inviting those curious about the intricate workings of these threats to delve into the specifics. Let's see how Google prepared against the DDoS attack. 

  • According to the company, "In the two minutes that followed, the attack began to ramp up, growing from 100,000 RPS (requests per second) to a peak of 46 million RPS." However, the massive surge in traffic failed to disrupt Google Cloud. "Since Cloud Armor was already blocking the attack traffic, the target workload continued to operate normally. Over the next few minutes, the attack started to decrease in size, ultimately ending 69 minutes later at 10:54 a.m. Presumably the attacker likely determined they were not having the desired impact while incurring significant expenses to execute the attack," the company said.

  • The source of this massive DDoS onslaught appears to have been the Meris botnet, comprised of hundreds of thousands of compromised internet routers and modems, with a significant number linked to MikroTik. The botnet's creation was facilitated by a vulnerability in MikroTik products that allowed hackers to take control of these devices remotely.

  • Google's strategy for mitigating such attacks involves establishing a "baseline model of normal traffic patterns" for customer websites. Furthermore, it includes a "rate-limiting capability" that enables customers to regulate malicious web traffic without adversely impacting legitimate website requests.

  • The tech giant shared detailed insights about this attack, not only as a warning to the tech community but also as an invitation for potential corporate clients to embrace its cloud services. Google Cloud Armor offers a robust solution for safeguarding internet-facing applications, effectively intercepting unwelcome traffic long before it reaches the core applications.

Nevertheless, as the ever-evolving landscape of cyber warfare, these tech giants have proven to be the guardians of the digital frontier, standing as pillars of strength against the cyber-forces of chaos and disruption. As the digital world heaved a sigh of relief, it became clear that these tech giants had risen in the face of adversity.

Do you think such DDoS attacks highlight the significance of having a robust cybersecurity shield? What can Big Tech companies do to prevent such attacks? 

Drop your thoughts in the comments section below!

First published on Thu, Oct 12, 2023

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