Feeds

'Kill switch' flaw found in top web weapon, victims sigh with relief

Turn the tables on DDoSers

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Security researchers have discovered a vulnerability in a top DDoS attack tool that provides a handy means to neutralise onslaughts.

The Dirt Jumper Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Toolkit is one of the most popular attack tools available. It was deployed in a digital siege against security news website KrebsonSecurity.com among many, many other victims in recent months. The weapon works by instructing an army of compromised computers to flood a website with traffic until legitimate visitors are unable to connect.

However a flaw in the software, uncovered by security researchers at DDoS mitigation specialists Prolexic, can be exploited to thwart assaults.

Armed with the identity of the C&C server or infected host, and open source penetration-testing tools, it is possible to gain access to the database in the system used to control the PC army and, more importantly, the server-side configuration files, Prolexic discovered.

“With this information, it is possible to access the C&C server and stop the attack,” explained Scott Hammack, chief executive officer at Prolexic.

“DDoS attackers take pride in finding and exploiting weaknesses in the architecture and code of their targets. With this vulnerability report, we’ve turned the tables and exposed crucial weaknesses in their own tools,” he added.

The Pandora DDoS toolkit, the latest member of the Dirt Jumper family, is also somewhat buggy.

Pandora can be used to launch five different attack types, including a combination of techniques against the web application and infrastructure layers of targeted websites. Typos in the malware result in broken GET requests. These mistakes are not bad enough to stop a network of compromised machines from launching the distributed attack, but they are severe enough to identify the zombie assailants.

A threat advisory from Prolexic explaining the bugs in both DDoS crimware tools can be found here. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.