a newly available testing service for DDoS attacks

Among the plethora of threats an IT security professional must guard against, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are a special case. They make it very hard to test the proper functioning of response mechanisms.

During a DDoS attack, an attacker sends a synchronized flood of packets to overload the target’s servers or network access. It’s hard to produce a strong enough stream of attacks (which is relatively doable for testing purposes), but it’s also especially difficult to generate the necessary distributed traffic from several thousand sources.

how to prevent these attacks

When setting up a prevention system for DDoS attacks, it can be important to test the system “live,” to avoid any mishaps during a real attack.

The Blitz Distributed Testing Service meets all of these needs. Using this service, it is theoretically possible to purchase “windows of opportunity” during which you can launch a DDoS attack from 5,000 to 10,000 different sources (the United States government probably uses a service of this type to test its systems’ resistance against this type of threat).

This service is a commercial "white hat” or “legal” version of the managed services already available in criminal circles.

what conclusions can we draw?

  1. the development of a more complete toolkit like this one means that DDoS challenges will increase and that an associated ecosystem is emerging around them
  2. improved testing tools will help validate service offers and filtering equipment more objectively
  3. let’s get past the silence surrounding DDoS: precursors like SATAN and MetaSploit have helped even the playing field in terms of tools available to defenders


photo credit: © Keo - Fotolia.com

This post was originally published in French here.

Jean-François Audenard

Au sein de la direction sécurité du Groupe Orange, je suis en charge de la veille sécurité et de la sensibilisation à la sécurité. Franchise, optimisme et bonne-humeur sont mes moteurs quotidiens