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Thoughts about recent DDOS attacks?

Accepted submission by bradley13 at 2016-03-21 15:45:07

Last week, several major eCommerce sites in Switzerland were targetted by DDoS attacks []. As far as I have been able to discover, no one knows who was behind the attacks. One might have thought the attackers would identify themselves and demand ransom to stop the attacks, but apparently not. Anyhow, I should hope that no company would be stupid enough to pay, since that would just put them on the list of "suckers" to be targetted again.

This past weekend, it was Swedish government sites [], among others.

Today, I have come across two sites that I cannot reach: [] and an EU governmental site about a minor software project. Dilbert is definitely the target of a DDoS attack; I cannot confirm this for the .eu site, but it seems likely.

Here are a few random thoughts from a non-expert:

- Why would anyone bother with attacks, without claiming credit or demanding ransom? The same reason kids throw rocks through windows? Showing off capability for potential paying customers? Something else?

- If the second (demonstrating capability), isn't this stupid? They've provided ample motivation to disable these attacks, or at least seriously filter them, thus reducing their impact in the future attacks.

- The current DDoS attacks are apparently NTP-reflection attacks (send spoofed queries to vulnerable NTP servers, which then reply to the victim), and similar DNS-based attacks. Is it possible to eliminate these attack vectors, just as Poodle and Heartbleed have been largely eliminated? I.e., issue patches, offer free tests, even blacklist noncompliant servers? Or are the affected protocols so broken that this is not possible?

The whole situation is strange - it seems like there are a lot of missing pieces to the puzzle. I'd be interested in hearing opinions from other Soylentils - what do you think?

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