Feeds

HULK DDoS-from-one-computer is easily thwarted, say security pros

Only small, unhardened servers need fear

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Security experts are downplaying the significance of a new denial-of-service (DoS) attack tool.

The HTTP Unbearable Load King (HULK) program was developed by a white-hat network security researcher, who shared it on his blog as a proof-of-concept demonstration of how to effortlessly knock over web servers. Nonetheless there is some concern that others might use it for more nefarious purposes.

Barry Shteiman, the developer of the HULK python script, was able to bring a Microsoft IIS 7 web server test system "to its knees" in under less a minute from a single host using the tool.

Neal Quinn, chief operating officer at DoS defence biz Prolexic, commented: "We’ve tested the tool internally and it is functional. What makes HULK dangerous is the fact that a single malicious actor with a single computer could feasibly take down a small, unhardened web server in minutes."

HULK starts a load of threads to fire off a flood of HTTP GET requests with randomly generated header and URL parameter values. This randomisation makes it more difficult to distinguish the attack from legitimate traffic. However thwarting the tool is not especially difficult, according to Prolexic.

“Fortunately, this is not a very complex DoS tool,” he added. “We were quickly able to dissect its approach and stop it dead in its tracks. It is fairly simple to stop HULK attacks and neutralise this vulnerability with the proper configuration settings and rules.”

Prolexic has added rules to its distributed-DoS mitigation tools to defend against possible attacks that leverage HULK's technique, as explained here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.