It wasn’t a very happy Christmas for either the PlayStation network or Xbox Live gaming services, which suﬀered total outages on their busiest (and most critical) day of the year, Christmas day. This followed an unprecedented wave of distributed denial-of-service attacks throughout the period.
The hacker group Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the attacks, describing them after the fact as advertising for its own for-hire DDoS service for taking down websites by overwhelming them with artiﬁcial traﬃc. An 18 year old from the UK has since been arrested on various related charges.
But how was this very public attack so easy and what is being done? Well, with the ease of access to the internet and prevalence of social media today, unsuspecting computer users are making it easier than ever for malicious actors to target them with malware and malcode.
This trend has helped provide the perfect environment for DDoS attacks to grow in size, complexity and range. Today’s attacks are not limited to web infrastructure; attackers are increasingly targeting domain name system infrastructure and vulnerable protocols, such as network time, also known as NTP, to create so-called volumetric attacks – assaults at levels not experienced previously. This trend has been particularly noticeable in i-gaming, which has been a primary target in recent months.
As a result, both the industry and Continent 8 is taking this threat very seriously and the company is investing heavily to mitigate the heightened risk. In fact, Continent 8 has recently completed the single largest refresh and upgrade programme of its global network since its creation over 15 years ago.
Additional points-of-presence, or PoP, deployments took the company’s global count into double ﬁgures. New interfaces into tier-one peering partners at some of the largest internet exchanges were also implemented, at sites including New York, London and Paris. As a result, the company has more than doubled its global IP transit infrastructure, and continues to plan and execute further upgrades.
The threat represents a clear and present danger and protection is essential. No matter where infrastructure is hosted, Continent 8 can protect and clean traﬃc to ensure “the lights stay on”.
Article appeared in ICE Daily – Issue 1, 3rd February 2015