Tue | Mar 26, 2024 | 5:12 AM PDT

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) have released an updated joint guide to help organizations defend against the persistent threat of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

The guidance, titled Understanding and Responding to Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks, provides a comprehensive resource detailing different DDoS techniques categorized into volumetric, protocol, and application-based attacks. It outlines proactive measures, incident response strategies, and post-attack recovery steps for each attack type.

The update comes amid heightened concerns over escalating DDoS threats, which cybercriminals often strategically time against targets for maximum disruption and financial gain.

"DDoS attacks have proven to be the most effective by bad actors for payouts and disruption when timed against a target's primary business needs," said Ken Dunham, Cyber Threat Director at Qualys Threat Research Unit.

The joint guidance emphasizes the importance of a proactive approach. "Organizations would be wise to proactively identify actors, threats, and tactics specific to their organization to prioritize what might be more likely to hit and thus plan countermeasures more effectively," Dunham advised.

Among the key recommendations are conducting risk assessments, implementing robust network monitoring, establishing traffic baselines, integrating CAPTCHA challenges, developing incident response plans, and evaluating DDoS mitigation services and bandwidth capacity.

"The advisory offers steps that can be taken to mitigate the damage caused by cybercriminals and minimize impacts on systems and operations," noted Darren Guccione, CEO and Co-Founder of Keeper Security. 

While the guidance covers various DDoS tactics, John Gallagher, Vice President of Viakoo Labs, suggested it could go further by recommending efforts to eradicate the vast botnet armies enabling these attacks at scale, particularly on vulnerable IoT devices.

"Where this advisory could have gone further is in recommending putting effort into bot eradication," Gallagher said. "DDoS attacks are quickly rising because threat actors have deployed vast botnet armies; where is the focus on removing those armies?"

The comprehensive joint guidance aims to enhance organizations' resilience against the multifaceted DDoS attack vectors. Cybersecurity experts emphasize the importance of a proactive, holistic approach aligning with best practices while combating the growing botnet infrastructure fueling these attacks.

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Tags: FBI, DDoS Attack, CISA,