Tsunami of junk traffic that broke DDoS records delivered by tiniest of botnets

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The DDoS arms race shows no signs of slowing down.

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A massive flood of malicious traffic that recently set a new distributed denial-of-service record came from an unlikely source. A botnet of just 5,000 devices was responsible as extortionists and vandals continue to develop ever more powerful attacks to knock sites offline, security researchers said.

The DDoS delivered 26 million HTTPS requests per second, breaking the previous record of 15.3 million requests for that protocol set only seven weeks ago, Cloudflare Product Manager Omer Yoachimik reported. Unlike more common DDoS payloads such as HTTP, SYN, or SYN-ACK packets, malicious HTTPS requests require considerably more computing resources for the attacker to deliver and for the defender or victim to absorb.

4,000 times stronger

“We’ve seen very large attacks in the past over (unencrypted) HTTP, but this attack stands out because of the resources it required at its scale,” Yoachimik wrote.

The burst lasted less than 30 seconds and generated more than 212 million HTTPS requests from more than 1,500 networks in 121 countries, with Indonesia, the United States, Brazil, and Russia topping the list. The top networks used included French-based OVH (Autonomous System Number 16276), the Indonesian Telkomnet (ASN 7713), the US-based iboss (ASN 137922), and the Libyan Ajeel (ASN 37284). About 3 per…

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