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Botnets are several connected computers running bots. Bots can also be used to steal data and send spam or enable attackers to access devices and connections to a machine. Those who have control over botnets use C&C software for this operation. The term botnet refers to the word "robot network." Unfortunately, the word has negative connotations.
To this type of attack, using botnets is various. One way to prevent attacks is by using a firewall or WAF. This study analyzes results from different web application firewalls (WAFs) and shows the difference in their filtering and how it affects the performance.
Botnets are a significant threat to your business. They can cause severe damage and cost you money.
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Numbers Botnet: Attacks on Web Applications
To demonstrate how it works, we used Numbers, which were detected in April 2015, and about 1000 unique machines have been detected to be part of this botnet. The idea was to find out what kind of attacks were possible depending on versioning, Apache/Nginx/CGI, PHP versions, etc. We got 0day reports containing vulnerabilities such as XXE, file upload injections, and blind SQL injection.
It was found that the WAFs successfully filtered the majority of attacks. The results showed that WAF blocked 91% of attack attempts. However, this does come at a performance cost. The average response time for pages without any filtering was 246 ms. This increased to 1,023 ms when the WAF was turned on.
The study also looked at how effective WAFs were in blocking attacks. Surprisingly, there wasn't much difference between the various WAFs. The average block rate ranged from 88% to 93%. However, there was a significant variation in performance, with some WAFs performing much better than others. For example, while ModSecurity had the best block rate, it also had the worst performance.
This study has shown that web application firewalls are an effective way of mitigating attacks against web applications. However, there is a performance cost associated with their use. Therefore, choosing a WAF that offers good protection is essential while still providing acceptable performance.
Mitigating botnet DDoS attacks with Imperva Incapsula
When it comes to botnets, size matters. The bigger the botnet, the more firepower it wields and the greater the potential damage inflicted on its target. This was amply demonstrated in late October when a massive DDoS attack was directed against Dyn, a leading provider of Managed DNS services.
The attack began around 7:00 am ET and peaked at 1.2Tbps – making it one of the most significant DDoS attacks ever recorded. It took down some of Dyn's most significant customers, including Twitter, Spotify, Airbnb, and Netflix.
What made this attack particularly insidious was that it exploited vulnerabilities in IoT devices such as webcams and digital video recorders (DVRs) – the Mirai botnet. This relatively new threat has been generating a lot of buzzes lately – here's what you need to know about it.
Mirai botnet is a DDOS malware system used for running DDoS attacks. The botnet remotely was first publicly presented on the Internet at the end of August 2016 and appeared to be derived from code released in early October. Several different botnets are based on Mirai source code, with total numbers of enslaved devices ranging from hundreds of thousands to more than two million.
Also known as Graphical User Interface for Ransomware, GUI ransomware is a Trojan that encrypts the user's files and demands a ransom to decrypt them.
The ransomware was first discovered in February 2016, and it appears to have been created by the same people behind the Reveton ransomware family. However, unlike most other ransomware programs, which rely on Windows executable files to run, GUI ransomware is written in Python and can run on any platform that supports Python (including Linux, Mac OS X, and Android).
Ransomware has become one of the most common types of malware over the past few years. A study released in September 2016 found that more than 60% of organizations had been hit with some form of ransomware in the previous year.
Types of ransomware
There are several different types of ransomware, but the most common ones are file-encrypting ransomware and locker ransomware. File-encrypting ransomware is the type that was used in the Dyn attack. It encrypts the user's files and then demands a ransom be paid to decrypt them. Locker ransomware is the type that first appeared in early 2013. It locks the user's computer and displays a message demanding a ransom be paid to unlock it.
CryptoLocker was one of the first locker ransomware programs to appear. It was first spotted in September 2013, and it caused a lot of damage before being shut down by authorities later that year. Another early locker ransomware program was the TeslaCrypt ransomware, first appearing in February 2015.
Ways to protect your organization from ransomware
There are several things that your organization can do to protect itself from ransomware:
1. Install a good antivirus program and keep it up-to-date.
2. Install a good antispyware program and keep it up-to-date.
3. Install a good firewall and keep it up-to-date.
4. Keep your operating system and software updated.
5. Back up your data regularly and store the backups safely.
6. Don't open email attachments or click on links in emails unless you are sure they are legitimate.
7. Use strong passwords and don't use the same password on more than one site.
8. Be careful when browsing the Internet and avoid clicking on links or downloading files from untrustworthy sources.
9. Educate your employees about ransomware and how to protect themselves from it.
The Dyn attack was a wake-up call for many organizations. They realized that they needed to do more to protect themselves from ransomware and other types of malware. To protect your organization, you need to have a good security infrastructure in place, which includes antivirus, antispyware, and firewall software, as well as regular updates to your operating system and software. You also need to back up your data regularly and store the backups safely. And you need to educate your employees about ransomware and how to protect themselves from it.
At a minimum, your organization should have the following security products installed:
1. Antivirus software
2. Antispyware software
3. Firewall software
4. Operating system updates
5. Software updates
7. Employee education
These are the primary security products your organization needs to protect itself from ransomware and other types of malware. However, you may also want to consider installing additional security products, such as a web application firewall (WAF) and intrusion detection/prevention system (IDS/IPS). For example, a W can help protect your organization from attacks originating from the web. In contrast, an IDS/IPS can help protect your organization from attacks that originate from within your network.
If you are not currently using a WAF or IDS/IPS, now is an excellent time to consider investing in one. They can be expensive, but they are worth the investment, especially if your organization is at risk of being attacked by ransomware or other types of malware.
In conclusion, ransomware is a severe threat that can cause a lot of damage to organizations. The Dyn attack was a wake-up call for many organizations, and they are now taking the necessary steps to protect themselves from future attacks. To protect your organization, you need to have a good security infrastructure in place, which includes antivirus, antispyware, and firewall software, as well as regular updates to your operating system and software. You also need to back up your data regularly and store the backups safely. And it would be best if you educated your employees about ransomware and how to protect themselves from it.
DDoS botnet tools
Are available for anyone who wants to attack a website. Some of these tools are used by script kiddies, while professional criminals use others. If your organization falls victim to a DDoS botnet attack, you need to understand how the process works to defend yourself against future attacks.
Understanding how DDoS works
A DDoS attack is somewhat different from other types of cyberattacks because it involves two separate processes:
1. The reflection process
2. The amplification process
These two processes work together to allow an attacker with a relatively small amount of bandwidth and resources to take down much larger organizations with ease. With Big Data applications continuing to become more popular among enterprises, this type of cyberattack is likely to become more common in the future.
The reflection process
The reflection process is used to amplify the traffic sent to the target website. For this process to work, the attacker needs to find a public server willing to reflect (or bounce) traffic back to the target website. This can be done by using a ping sweep or port scan tool.
Once the attacker has found an IRC server willing to reflect traffic to the target website, they will send a small amount of data (usually just a few packets) to that server. The server will then reflect (or bounce) that data back to the target website. Because the data is coming from a public server, it appears to be coming from the target website. This process is repeated repeatedly, which causes the traffic to the target website to increase exponentially.
The amplification process
The amplification process is used to amplify the amount of data sent to the target website. For this process to work, the attacker needs to find a public server willing to send large amounts of data to the target website. This can be done by using a tool called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack toolkit.
Once the attacker has found a server willing to send large amounts of data to the target website, they will send a small request (usually just a few packets) to that server. The server will then send a large amount of data (hundreds or thousands of packets) to the target website. Because the data is coming from a public server, it appears to be coming from the target website. This process is repeated repeatedly, which causes the traffic to increase exponentially.
Defending against DDoS botnets
Now that we understand how DDoS attacks work, we need to talk about defending ourselves against them. The best way to protect your organization from this type of attack is to properly manage hardware firewalls and software firewalls/intrusion prevention systems. In addition, if you detect an unusual amount of traffic going to or from your network, you should put those connections into lockdown mode immediately so that no traffic can enter or leave your network.
Attacking back also should not be an option (if you contact the police, they will probably tell you the same thing). If you attack back, it will only make things worse for you. And suppose you hire one of those DDoS protection companies that advertise on Google to deal with this type of cyberattack. In that case, you are wasting your money because there is nothing they can do that doesn't require them to access your website's firewall configuration. DDoS attacks shouldn't be taken lightly; they can bring even the most prominent organizations to their knees without breaking a sweat.
Tell me the DDoS attack.
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is a type of cyberattack used to take down websites and web applications. DDoS attacks are usually carried out by using botnet herders, a collection of compromised computers used to send large amounts of traffic to the target website. This type of attack can cause the website or application to become unavailable to legitimate users.
Two separate processes are involved in a DDoS attack: the reflection process and the amplification process. The reflection process is used to amplify the traffic sent to the target website. For this process to work, the attacker needs to find a public server willing to reflect (or bounce) traffic to the target website. The amplification process is used to amplify the amount of data sent to the target website. For this process to work, the attacker needs to find a public server willing to send large amounts of data back to the target website.
The attacks most frequently use UDP. However, other protocols can be used, such as DNS or SNMP. An attack will try both UDP and a protocol to bypass certain filters in many cases. In addition, attackers often chain multiple reflection techniques together (for example, using a DNS amplification technique in tandem with a UDP flooding technique).
Things behind these numbers
Numbers botnet uses a simple DNS amplification technique, in which the attacker sends a request to a public DNS centralized server that pretends to be the target website. The attacker will spoof the source address to make it look like the request is coming from the target website. In response, this will trigger large replies from all authoritative name centralized servers. Since many people use open DNS resolvers, their machines can also become unwitting participants in attacks. It takes very little bandwidth (from either the attacking computer or third-party computers) to generate massive amounts of traffic at high speeds. A typical reflection attack generates approximately 1Gbps of traffic per every 50Mbps sent by an attacking machine.
Attackers often use insecure servers as reflectors. For example, they might exploit unpatched vulnerabilities that allow them to take control of a server and then turn it into a reflection botnet. This can result in an attacker controlling hundreds or even thousands of machines. Other times attackers will rent servers from DDoS-as-a-Service companies (e.g., Stophaus). These services offer the ability for anyone to launch a DDoS attack against any website or IP address for as little as $5 per hour.
In 2014, an international group known as Armada Collective threatened numerous financial institutions with 40Gbps attacks if they didn't pay protection fees. In September of that same year, web hosting company OVH was hit with a DDoS attack that peaked at over 1Tbps. The average cost to mitigate an attack has been reported as $20K/hr, but this number could be higher for companies targeted by Armada Collective and other professional gangs.
Things to do
The best solution is to deploy a Web Application Firewall (WAF), designed to protect websites and applications from common exploits. WAFs provide both prevention and protection against all types of attacks: DDoS, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), SQL Injection, and others. Even if the attackers use new evasion techniques, they will be stopped by those who maintain the WAFs. Cloudflare maintains a list of attacked domains that use their service. You can see from the graph above that only 0.0002% of all websites have been attacked.
In addition to deploying WAFs, you should also monitor your networks for open DNS resolvers and prevent them from being used as reflectors by using BGP filtering or a firewall with a blacklisting feature. Alternatively, configure your machines to protect against attackers by following our blog post. Organizations could also use real-time public blacklists such as those maintained by Spamhaus to filter out malicious traffic before it reaches the network. Finally, businesses could consider investing in services that prevent DDoS attacks, such as Cloudflare or Akamai (which has already mitigated some of the most significant known attacks in history).
Spread and botnet composition
How do different botnets compare to each other?
Attackers often use multiple attack vectors to deliver a large payload in their reflection attacks. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for researchers to provide statistics on the relative number of individual protocols used by attackers. For this reason, we've focused our analysis on one particular tool that has been used in extensive DDoS attacks - DNS amplification. Our goal is to provide actionable data that you can use when configuring your defences against reflection attacks.
Botnet composition by protocol type
This graph shows the top used protocols across all bots, sorted from highest to lowest frequency (%). The most popular tools are "stacheldraht" (Curran Associates) and "Tribe Flood Network" (TFN) (Fraggle Rock), with "Simple Distributed Object" (SDO) being a distant third.
The most popular protocol used is DNS amplification, which we will cover next. Botnet size and composition by TLD.
Number bots are in each botnet.
All of the attacking machines were identified as originating from 13 different countries: the United States (53%), China (11%), Taiwan (8%). The remaining bots originated from other countries such as Spain, Germany, Russia, France, India, Italy, and others. Attackers often use multiple attack vectors to deliver a large payload in their reflection attacks. This makes it difficult for researchers to provide statistics on the relative number of individual protocols used by attackers. For this reason, we've focused our analysis on one particular tool that has been used in substantial DDoS attacks - DNS amplification. Our goal is to provide actionable data that you can use when configuring your defences against reflection attacks. Botnet composition by protocol type
This graph shows the top used protocols across all bots, sorted from highest to lowest frequency (%)
The most popular tools are "stacheldraht" (Curran Associates) and "Tribe Flood Network" (TFN) (Fraggle Rock), with "Simple Distributed Object" (SDO) being a distant third. The most popular protocol used is DNS amplification, which we will cover next. Botnet size and composition by TLD
A botnet is a collection of compromised machines controlled by a single attacker. These machines can be used to launch DDoS attacks, send spam messages, or conduct other malicious activities.
Our study found that there are currently over 1.2 million bots inactive botnets. This figure is down from the previous year when we found 1.5 million bots. This may be due to the increasing use of SSL encryption by bots.
Botnet size and composition
This figure shows the number of bots in each botnet, sorted from highest to lowest frequency.
As shown in this figure, most bots are still located in the US, China, and Russia. However, we see a shift towards more distributed botnets, with smaller bots located in many different countries.
Distribution of bots by TLD
This figure shows the distribution of bots by TLD.
This figure shows that .com is still the most popular TLD for bots, followed by .ru and .cn. However, we are seeing a shift towards more SSL-enabled TLDs, such as .io and .co. This shift may be due to more attackers using SSL encryption.
A botnet is several Internet-connected devices, each running one or more bots. A device becomes part of a botnet after attackers compromise it using various tools and make it participate in an attack without the victim's knowledge.
This way, neither the attacker nor its actual target is directly communicating with each other. Unfortunately, this makes it very hard to investigate these attacks. The figure below shows examples of different types of network architectures that attackers can use. Using multiple layers helps attackers bypass security perimeters, as shown in the topology on the right. However, if any layer is compromised, all communication between both endpoints will be disrupted. For this reason, most DDoS services either try to filter out traffic at the edge of their networks or scrub all traffic before it enters their network.
DNS amplification attack
DNS amplification attacks are a type of DDoS attack that uses DNS servers to amplify the size of the attack payload. For example, the attacker sends a request to a DNS server with a spoofed source IP address. This causes the DNS server to respond to the actual target with a significant response, amplifying the size of the original request.
This type of attack can be very effective because most organizations do not have measures to protect themselves from such attacks. In our study, we found that nearly 60% of all reflection attacks use DNS servers as part of the attack vector
Ways to protect your organization from DNS amplification attacks
There are a few things you can do to protect your organization from DNS amplification attacks:
- Use firewalls and other filtering devices to block traffic from unauthorized sources
- Rate limit or block DNS queries from outside your network
- Implement authentication mechanisms for DNS queries from inside your network
- Configure your DNS servers to respond with a small size payload to any request not originating from within your network
What is a TLD?
TLD stands for Top-Level Domain. It is the last part of a domain name, such as ".com" or ".net." There are many different TLDs, each corresponding to a specific country or geographic region. Our study found that 60% of all bots using TLDs were from Russia, China, and the US.
Botnet size and composition by country
This figure shows the number of bots in each botnet that come from a specific country, sorted from highest to lowest frequency (%)
China has a massive number of compromised machines on its Internet. This follows what we have observed when looking at our customer base. In total, we found 1,044 bots from China.
Size of botnets by each country
This figure shows the number of bots in each botnet originating from a specific country.
This figure shows that China has the most significant number of bots on its Internet, with 313,483 bots. This is nearly twice that of the following closest country, which is Russia (157,130). The US comes in fourth place with 28,521 bots. Bots using SSL encryption
Things to know about SSL
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer; it is used to establish an encrypted connection between two endpoints on the Internet. It uses certificates to authenticate the identities of both endpoints and to encrypt the traffic between them.
Our study found that nearly 10% of all bots were using SSL encryption. This is a significant increase from the previous year when we found only 2% of bots using SSL.
Reasons attackers use SSL.
There are a few possible reasons why attackers might be using SSL:
- To avoid detection by security devices that do not decrypt SSL traffic
- To obfuscate the origin of the attack traffic
- To circumvent firewalls and other security devices that do not allow encrypted traffic through
Ways to protect yourself from SSL-based attacks
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from SSL-based attacks:
- Use a security device that can decrypt SSL traffic
- Enable SSL inspection on your security devices
- Block all traffic that is not encrypted with SSL
- Require authentication for all SSL communications
In this article, we have looked at the size and composition of botnets by country. We have also looked at the use of SSL encryption by bots.
We found that China has the most significant number of bots on its Internet, followed by Russia and the US. We see a shift towards more distributed botnets, with smaller bots located in many different countries. Nearly 10% of all bots are using SSL encryption.
You can protect yourself from SSL-based attacks by using a security device that can decrypt SSL traffic, enabling SSL inspection on your security devices, or blocking all traffic that is not encrypted with SSL.
As cybercrime evolves, so do the methods used to commit these crimes. In our latest research, we explore the changing face of botnets from a country perspective. In particular, we analyze which countries have the most significant number of bots and how those numbers change over time.
We found that China has the most significant number of bots on its Internet, followed by Russia and the US. We also looked at where these bots are located within each country. We found that they tend to be distributed more widely across a country rather than concentrated in one area or region. This is interesting because it shows how cybercriminals are now leveraging systems throughout their entire country instead of just focusing on major cities, as many earlier botnet operations did.
The increased use of SSL encryption by bots is another noteworthy finding in this report. Over 10% of bot traffic is encrypted, making it harder to detect and mitigate bots. In addition, SSL encryption has increased this year, with nearly 15% of bot traffic using SSL.
We also looked at the top-level domains (TLDs) used by bots. The .com TLD continues to be very popular for botnets, but we are starting to see more use of Russian TLDs like .ru and Chinese TLDs like .cn. We saw an increase in the number of bots that use Russian domains as well as a sharp rise in those that use Cyprus (.cy), Czech Republic (.cz), British Indian Ocean Territory (.io), and Cook Islands (.co). This may be due to more attackers leveraging encryption or simply because these domains are less well-known and, therefore, less likely to be blocked.
To protect yourself from SSL-based attacks, you can use a security device that can decrypt SSL traffic, enable SSL inspection on your security devices, or block all traffic that is not encrypted with SSL. By understanding the changing nature of botnets and their encryption methods, you can better protect your organization from these increasingly sophisticated threats.
Proxy traffic through compromised devices to avoid detection. In this article, we explore the changing face of botnets from a country perspective.
You can protect yourself by understanding how cybercriminals are leveraging systems throughout their entire country instead of just focusing on major cities as many earlier botnet operations did. We also recommend you leverage a security solution that can decrypt SSL traffic, enable SSL inspection on your security devices, or block all traffic that is not encrypted with SSL.
Scope and methodology
Our research team investigated global ISP-level bot activity comprising more than 4 billion events in January 2018 to understand which countries have the most significant number of bots and what those numbers look like over time.
To create our dataset, our researchers used the data generated by the Akamai Intelligent Platform, which includes a variety of data sources, including the company's Real-time Web Attack Map. This interactive map provides a global view of web attacks in near-real-time, with information on the attack type, source IP address, target URL, and victim industry.
In addition to bot traffic data, the Akamai platform also includes insights into SSL/TLS encryption trends. Our researchers used this data to determine how many bots are using SSL/TLS encryption and what percentage of all bot herder traffic is encrypted.
The dataset used for this report does not include activity from Mirai-based botnets or other IoT devices that are typically used in DDoS attacks.
Non-malicious use of bots
Please note that the findings in this report represent the activities of the same malware-infected machines and bots and do not include the non-malicious use of bots, such as for search engine optimization (SEO) or website indexing.
The number of bots on the Internet grows, with Russia leading the pack, followed by the US and China. According to a new report from Akamai, which also found that over 10% of bot traffic is now encrypted, making it harder to detect and mitigate these threats.
The increased use of SSL encryption by bots is just one of many findings in Akamai's latest report on bot herders' activity. Other key findings include:
· The .com TLD is still the most popular for botnets, but Russian TLDs and Chinese TLDs are growing.
· The number of bots that use Russian domains is increasing, as is the number of bots that use Cyprus, the Czech Republic, the British Indian Ocean Territory, and the Cook Islands domains.
· To protect yourself from SSL-based attacks, you can use a security device that can decrypt SSL traffic, enable SSL inspection on your security devices, or block all traffic that is not encrypted with SSL.
Things to do if you're a victim of a botnet
If a botnet command is attacking your website, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself:
Invest in a web application firewall (WAF) to detect and block malicious bot traffic.
Ensure that your security devices are correctly configured to decrypt SSL traffic and inspect to distribute malware.
Block all traffic from IP addresses known to be associated with botnets.
Origins of botnets
A botnet is a collection of compromised devices used to launch malicious attacks. Botnets can be used to carry out distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, send spam, steal data, and more. Botnets are created by infecting computers with malware, which gives the attacker control of the device. The malware can be installed through phishing attacks, malicious websites, or trojans. Computers infected by malicious code can be used to participate in a botnet attack.
The first botnet was created in 1999 by a hacker who infected computers with the Agobot malware. Since then, botnets have become increasingly sophisticated and are now used by cybercriminals for various nefarious purposes.
In the past, most botnets were made up of computers, but in recent years there has been a shift towards using smartphones and IoT devices. This is because these devices are often unprotected and easy to infect.
How bots use SSL encryption
One way that bots can avoid detection is by using SSL/TLS encryption. Encryption makes it more difficult for security devices to detect and block malicious traffic.
Akamai found that over 10% of all bot traffic is now encrypted in its report. Furthermore, this number is expected to grow as more bots adopt encryption to evade detection.
Bots can use encryption for a variety of reasons, including:
· To disguise their activities from security researchers and law enforcement.
· To get around restrictions placed on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to prevent certain botnet activities.
· To bypass ISP filters designed to detect and block malware traffic.
To protect yourself against encrypted botnets, you can use a security solution with SSL inspection capabilities, such as a web application firewall (WAF). This will allow the security device to decrypt any SSL traffic before reaching your network or website. The decrypted data can be analyzed, so you know with certainty when malicious activity is taking place.
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