Feeds

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

Only small, unhardened servers need fear

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.