DDoS 3.0 – How Terrorists Bring Down the Internet (Invited)


Dependable operation of the Internet is of crucial importance for our society. In recent years Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have quickly become a major problem for the Internet. Most of these attacks are initiated by kids that target schools, ISPs, banks and web-shops; the Dutch NREN (SURFNet), for example, sees around 10 of such attacks per day. Performing attacks is extremely simple, since many websites offer “DDoS as a Service‿; in fact it is easier to order a DDoS attack than to book a hotel! The websites that offer such DDoS attacks are called “Booters or “Stressers, and are able to perform attacks with a strength of many Gbps. Although current attempts to mitigate attacks seem promising, analysis of recent attacks learns that it is quite easy to build next generation attack tools that are able to generate DDoS attacks with a strength thousand to one million times higher than the ones we see today. If such tools are used by nation-states or, more likely, terrorists, it should be possible to completely stop the Internet. This paper argues that we should prepare for such novel attacks.

Proceedings of the 18th International GI/ITG Conference on Measurement, Modelling and Evaluation of Computing Systems and Dependability and Fault-Tolerance