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DSL Reports back up after DDoS attack

The flood continues

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

DSL Reports, a website for broadband users, popped back online after being taken down by a distributed denial of service attack. At least 1,100 bot-infested machines took part in the assault, which at one point directed nearly 48MBps of malicious data at the site.

The flood continues, although changes to the site's front-end server drastically improved its defenses. Several hours after the attack began, the DDoS was throwing about 12MBps of data at the site, enough for it to stay online.

"The traffic is small in size, but is entirely composed of tiny open-connection requests from an ever growing list of IPs," Justin, the site's operator said in this thread. "I'm black holing about 5 new ones a minute and we're over 1,100 now. Now I'll have time to try a different front-end server that may be more resistant to the type of open connection request this botnet is employing."

According to researcher Jose Nazario at Arbor Networks, the command and control center of the attacking botnet appears to be located at IP address 79.135.166.122. He is encouraging ISPs to block port 80 traffic to that server, which he says is "a busy DDoS net which has attacked numerous sites around the world."

Despite its name, DSL Reports is a resource for techies looking for information on a host of topics. Its security forum is a great place to learn general tips about how to stay one step ahead of online miscreants or to trouble shoot specific security problems. The site also provides forums and information on a variety of other topics from Unix administration to ham radio.

There's no clear motive for the attack. It's possible a script kiddie took offense to a slight that was either explicit or merely perceived. Plenty of other self-help websites have suffered similar attacks, most notably CastleCops, which in February 2007 sustained a 1GBps DDoS attack after a 21-year-old California man allegedly got mad over a post on the site that made unkind claims about a friend. ®

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