The rise in Internet and cloud utilization has been directly proportional to the rise in WAN-based attacks. As more organizations utilize the power of the cloud, more attackers will search for targets to attack. Fueled by innovations like do-it-yourself botnet construction kits and rent-a-botnet business models, the growth of botnets has skyrocketed and botnet products and services are now brazenly advertised and sold on the Internet. As many as one quarter of all personal computers may now be participating in a botnet, unknown to their owners. According to Arbor Networks and this white paper, at its peak, it is believed the now-defunct Mariposa botnet may have controlled up to 12 million zombies.
One of the major uses of botnets is to launch Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which are simultaneously executed from multiple infected hosts under the command and control of a botherder. The goal is to slow or take down the targeted domain, network infrastructure, web site or application so it can’t respond to legitimate requests. An attack may also have a secondary goal of installing malware that can steal valuable information from the infected system or enable further intrusions at a later date. The reasons for a DDoS attack can truly range. Everything from political hactivism to competitive purposes – DdoS attacks are on the rise.
In 2010, 77 percent of respondents in Arbor’s annual survey experienced application-layer attack, and such attacks represented 27 percent of all attack vectors.
Download this white paper to learn the intricate workings of a botnet. Because no single entity can analyze and gain expertise in all types of malware or threats, each of these security organizations typically specializes in a specific type of threat. For example, ASERT specializes in the analysis of botnets and DDoS attacks and relies on other expert organizations in the security community for information regarding other types of threats. In return, Arbor openly publishes and shares its analysis and information with these other trusted security organizations. This white paper looks at how botnets and DDoS attacks have evolved over the years and where administrators must concern themselves moving forward. In partnering with the right security solutions, IT managers can create a secured environment capable of agility and growth.