Cybercriminals Abuse Mobile Applications to Launch DDOS Attacks

Firewalls & IPSs Are Not Enough

January 15th, 2014, 15:15 GMT · By Eduard Kovacs

Distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack protection solutions provider Prolexic has published its Global DDOS Attack Report for the fourth quarter of 2013. The company says that cybercriminals are targeting enterprises with DDOS attacks that rely on mobile applications.   “The prevalence of mobile devices and the widespread availability of downloadable apps that can be used for DDoS is a game changer,” explained Stuart Scholly, president of Prolexic.

“Malicious actors now carry a powerful attack tool in the palm of their hands, which requires minimal skill to use. Because it is so easy for mobile device users to opt-in to DDoS attack campaigns, we expect to see a considerable increase in the use of these attack tools in 2014,” Scholly added.   The company has analyzed an attack aimed at a major financial services firm. Their investigation has revealed the fact that mobile devices have been leveraged in the attack. More precisely, the cybercriminals have used an Android operating system tool called AnDOSid, which performs HTTP POST flood attacks.

“Mobile devices add another layer of complexity. Because mobile networks use super proxies, you cannot simply use a hardware appliance to block source IP addresses as it will also block legitimate traffic,” Scholly noted.   “Effective DDoS mitigation requires an additional level of fingerprinting and human expertise so specific blocking signatures can be developed on-the-fly and applied in real-time.”   Experts highlight the fact that the large number of mobile devices that are currently in use make them an important resource for DDOS attacks. They believe that the developers of tools such as LOIC will start porting their creations to mobile platforms this year.   In the fourth quarter of 2013, the attack volume increased by 26% compared to the previous quarter.

The complete Global DDOS Attack Report is available on Prolexic’s website (registration required)

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