[ISN] Internet Attacks Grow More Potent

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2008 02:43:44 -0600 (CST)

The New York Times
November 9, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO - Attackers bent on shutting down large Web sites — even 
the operators that run the backbone of the Internet — are arming 
themselves with what are effectively vast digital fire hoses capable of 
overwhelming the world’s largest networks, according to a new report on 
online security.

In these attacks, computer networks are hijacked to form so-called 
botnets that spray random packets of data in huge streams over the 
Internet. The deluge of data is meant to bring down Web sites and entire 
corporate networks. Known as distributed denial of service, or D.D.O.S., 
attacks, such cyberweapons are now routinely used during political and 
military conflicts, as in Estonia in 2007 during a political fight with 
Russia, and in the Georgian-Russian war last summer. Such attacks are 
also being used in blackmail schemes and political conflicts, as well as 
for general malicious mischief.

A survey of 70 of the largest Internet operators in North America, South 
America, Europe and Asia found that malicious attacks were rising 
sharply and that the individual attacks were growing more powerful and 
sophisticated, according to the Worldwide Infrastructure Security 
Report. This report is produced annually by Arbor Networks, a company in 
Lexington, Mass., that provides tools for monitoring the performance of 

The report, which will be released Tuesday, shows that the largest 
attacks have grown steadily in size to over 40 gigabits, from less than 
half a megabit, over the last seven years. The largest network 
connections generally available today carry 10 gigabits of data, meaning 
that they can be overwhelmed by the most powerful attackers.

The Arbor Networks researchers said a 40-gigabit attack took place this 
year when two rival criminal cybergangs began quarreling over control of 
an online Ponzi scheme. “This was, initially, criminal-on-criminal crime 
though obviously the greatest damage was inflicted on the infrastructure 
used by the criminals,” the network operator wrote in a note on the 


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Received on Mon Nov 10 2008 - 00:43:44 PST

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