Asian datacentre hit by massive 334Gbps DDoS attack, Arbor Networks reveals

Not as big as December's 400Gbps monster but still big enough

Arbor Networks has recorded another massive DDoS attack, this time a 334Gbps stream of unwanted traffic that hit the datacentre of an Asian network operator sometime between January and March 2015.

Massive DDoS attacks have almost become a spectator sport in the last three years, with attack after attack beating previous records.

The latest one was described as the largest ever recorded by the firm's Atlas system, which is technically true although the firm did reveal in January that it had reliable evidence of an even larger 400Gbps attack recorded last December from an external reporting source.

So the 334Gbps attack is not in fact the largest ever disclosed DDoS but certainly massive all the same. Importantly, in Q1 as a whole there were 25 attacks larger than 100Gbps across the world, mostly reflection attacks exploiting weaknesses in Network Time Server (NTP), Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP) and DNS server deployments.

SSDP seems to be an important trend of the last year with the number of attacks using it jumping from three in the first quarter of 2014 to 126,000 now, the biggest reaching 137.88Gbps.

"Attacks that are significantly above the 200Gbps level can be extremely dangerous for network operators and can cause collateral damage across service provider, cloud hosting and enterprise networks," said Arbor director of solutions architects, Darren Anstee.

Most attacks still don't last that long, less than an hour, Arbor said.

"DDoS attacks continue to evolve. Not only have volumetric attacks grown significantly in size and frequency over the past 18 months, application-layer attackers are also still pervasive.

Enterprises needed to look at layered model of defence, he said.

DDoS defence isn't easy to do which might explain why Cisco tied up a deal with Arbor last month that will see the latter's anti-DDoS technology embedded inside its ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routers. Those are major pieces of kit of the sort used by ISPs.

Interestingly, Cisco abandoned its own Cisco Guard anti-DDoS technology some years ago and the fact that it now sees DDoS security as something that needs to be offered in its high-end routers is a sign that things have changed somewhat. It is now a mainstream requirement for all networks not simply a tactical option.

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