Prolexic Technologies, a division of Akamai that specialize in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection services, issued a high alert threat advisory on NTP amplification DDoS attacks.
Due to the availability of new DDoS toolkits that make it simple to generate high-bandwidth, high-volume attacks with just a handful of servers, Prolexic has seen a surge in this attack method. With the current batch of NTP amplification attack toolkits, malicious actors could launch 100 Gbps attacks - or larger - by leveraging just a few vulnerable NTP servers.
Some highlights of the threat advisory -- in just one month (February 2014 vs. January 2014):
- The number of NTP amplification attacks increased 371.43 percent
- Average peak DDoS attack bandwidth increased 217.97 percent
- The average peak DDoS attack volume increased 807.48 percent
"During the month of February, we saw the use of NTP amplification attacks surge 371 percent against our client base," said Stuart Scholly, SVP/GM Security, Akamai Technologies. "In fact, the largest attacks we've seen on our network this year have all been NTP amplification attacks."
In December 2013, Akamai agreed to acquire Prolexic, a start-up based in Hollywood, Florida, for a net cash payment of approximately $370 million.
Prolexic offers a FIPS 140-2 SSL/TLS Layer 7 DDoS detection, monitoring and analysis solution for protecting data centers and enterprise IP applications from attacks. Prolexic operates a DDoS "scrubbing center" in Ashburn, Virginia and San Jose, California as well as other facilities in London and Hong Kong. The company says its solution was used to mitigate the largest Gbps attack faced to date (167 Gbps), as well as the world’s most powerful attack campaign (144 million packets per second). Its customers include some of the world’s largest banks and the leading companies in e-Commerce, SaaS, payment processing, travel/hospitality, gaming, energy and other at-risk industries. The company has previously disclosed global partnerships with HP, Level 3, BT, NTT and Datacraft.