Chapter 3. DDoS Mitigation and Countermeasures

We already know that the effects of a DDoS can be catastrophic for your service, business, and infrastructure. In the last chapter, we looked at various ways we can detect a potential or ongoing attack. In this chapter, we will explore ways to mitigate the attacks.

Even though we can detect the attack by macro or micro behavior, from our experiences, for mitigation, we need to dig into the low-level, nitty-gritty of the attack to devise a mitigation strategy. Like doctors who need to prescribe precise medicine based on the symptoms and predicted disease, the mitigation strategy needs to match the type of attack you are experiencing. A payload filter targeted to stop an HTTP GET flood, for example, will do no good to stop a TCP SYN flood.

Generally speaking, the DDoS attacks consist of the same type of exploit repeated over many times. For example, the TCP SYN Flood attack consists of one type of packet, TCP SYN, repeated from different sources arriving at your network over and over again. The challenge for mitigating the attack is in the volumetric and differentiation aspects of the attack. The mitigation consists of differentiating the legitimate request (in this case, TCP SYN) from the malicious sources, and doing so at an extremely high traffic rate.

Multivector Attacks

It is worth noting that we are seeing a rise of multivector attacks which combine multiple types of DDoS attacks. From a mitigation perspective, it is important ...

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