Amazon says its online cloud, which provides the infrastructure on which many websites rely, has fended off the most massive DDoS attack in history.
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are designed to knock a website offline by flooding it with huge amounts of requests until it crashes.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) said the February attack had fired 2.3Tbps. That is a little under half of all traffic BT sees on its entire UK network during a typical working day. The previous record, set in 2018, was 1.7Tbps.
“This is huge news for people in the industry,” said Lisa Forte, from Red Goat Cyber Security, warning it was “enormous” compared with the previous all-time high.
Biggest attack to date
“It is like comparing a moped to a super-car,” said Lisa “They are totally different beasts” she added, also stating that “These are outliers,” and reminded people that “as always with cyber-threats, we are in an arms race against attackers every day” and “This will definitely be an alarming revelation to many and could be a warning that we should not ignore.”
In a formal report about its DDoS protection service, AWS Shield, the company said the peak of the attack had been 44% larger than anything the service had seen before and resulted in a three-days of “elevated threat” status. Still, it did not identify what the attack had targeted website or online service.
Hard to track
DDoS attacks are relatively simple and rely on their sheer scale to be effective. They often utilize large numbers of machines compromised by malware to launch attacks, which can be purchased online from cyber-criminals relatively cheaply.
They have been used by groups such as the hacktivist collective Anonymous to target the websites of companies or local governments they disagree with.
However, protection services such as AWS Shield, Cloudflare, and Akamai, among others, have been used by many major online services in an attempt to limit their effectiveness.
Cloud hosting vulnerabilities
As a result of connectivity problems, billing issues, and more, developers are starting to retreat out of cloud environments and back to reliable dedicated hosting like ServerPronto.
There’s also the issue of security. The NSA says there are four classes of security vulnerabilities in the cloud, which include shared tenancy vulnerabilities, supply chain vulnerabilities, poor access controls, and misconfigurations.
These just a few of the reasons web developers across the country are leaving cloud environments like AWS and jumping back to traditional computing resources.
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Classic dedicated servers are a favorite of web administrators looking for consistency and predictability when it comes to operations and payments. They are still the best option for administrators who routinely create low-performance environments for testing and want to save money while doing so.
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