WhatsApp and Facebook shutdown
OpenLife Nigeria reports that arising from the Monday global shut down of Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Nexusguard has uncovered that a new cyber threat, coined a “Black Storm” attack, could potentially wreak havoc on communications service provider (CSP) networks.
This assertion is a product of a new distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) research from Nexusguard.
Nexusguard, founded in 2008, is a leading cloud-based distributed denial of service (DDoS) security solution provider fighting malicious internet attacks.
It ensures uninterrupted internet service, visibility, optimization and performance.
The research outcome titled: A New Threat to CSP Networks – The Impending “Black Storm,” which was made available to OpenLife by African Media Agency, AMA, specifically noted that while DDoS amplification attacks rely on DNS servers or other similar open services to interrupt connectivity, a Black Storm attack can leverage any device connected to the Internet. Researchers noted that the volume from one Black Storm attack could terminate medium to large-sized enterprises in a clean sweep and severely cripple a large-scale CSP network.
According to the firm’s analysis, hackers can achieve Black Storm attacks more easily than amplification attacks, which could quickly dominate the cyberworld. Black Storm attacks could be manifested by hackers employing a BlackNurse attack in a reflective manner (rBlackNurse attacks).
By generating spoofed UDP requests to CSP devices’ closed UDP ports—a reflection of the ping replies returned to the CSP network ping sources in BlackNurse attacks—the devices respond with destination port unreachable responses.
As more devices continue to respond to the spoofed IP source, the volume of responses completely overwhelms the target CSP network and creates the Black Storm attack.
Nexusguard advises CSPs to perform regular vulnerability scanning, apply access control to routers and use deep learning-based detection methods.
Deep learning approaches can help CSPs analyze huge amounts of data quickly and accurately while overcoming the inefficiencies inherent in threshold or signature-based methods.
“The potential risk from impending Black Storm attacks could obliterate individual enterprises and have devastating consequences for communications service providers and completely saturate their networks,” warned Juniman Kasman, chief technology officer for Nexusguard.
“Networks targeted by these attacks need to apply deep learning intelligence in order to analyze traffic patterns and identify Black Storm attacks well before they can be exploited.”