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Microsoft fends off the second-largest DDoS attack ever recorded

posted in Business Continuity ● 15 Nov 2021

In August 2021, a hacker launched the second-largest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on record, attempting to take down an unnamed Microsoft customer’s internet services.

Microsoft revealed that the 2.4 terabits per second attack was directed at an Azure customer based in Europe. The Google successfully absorbed a 2.5Tbps DDoS in 2017, the highest-bandwidth attack reported to date.

A DDoS attack essentially tries to down a website or internet service with a flood of data traffic. To accomplish this, the hacker may harness botnets, or armies of malware-infected computers, to generate the traffic.

According to Microsoft, the attack came from “70,000 sources” spread across Asia and the United States. It was unclear whether the hacker employed a botnet. However, the UDP protocol was used in a “reflection attack” to boost data transmission to 2.4Tbps. UDP reflection involves an attacker sending a packets-a-plenty to an intermediary server called a “reflector”. The attacker’s packets identify the target machine’s IP address as the source of the traffic. As a result, the intermediary server delivers responses to the target system. These responses may be larger than the attacker’s incoming communications.

The attack would have been enough to halt a data centre. Microsoft, though, claims it was effectively mitigated by Azure’s DDoS protection technology, which is capable of absorbing “tens of terabits of DDoS attacks”. A statement declared: “This aggregated distributed mitigation capability can massively scale to absorb the highest volume of DDoS threats, providing our customers with the protection they require.”

In 2020, a hacker utilised hijacked Connection-Less Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (CLDAP) servers to bombard an Amazon AWS client with traffic, resulting in a 2.3Tbps DDoS attack. Amazon, like Microsoft, was able to stop the attack from spreading. However, there’s been a rise in DDoS attacks in recent months in what cybersecurity researchers say is a record-breaking number of incidents.

According to a report by cybersecurity researchers at Netscout, there were 5.4 million recorded DDoS attacks during the first half of 2021 – a figure that represents an 11% rise compared with the same period last year.

In the event of an outage, you may not be able to access your content or data that you’ve stored. Section 6 of Microsoft’s own Service Agreement suggests that customers should ‘back up their content and data that is stored on the services or that is stored using third-party apps and services on a regular basis’.

You can back up all the Microsoft 365 data within your organisation, directly from Microsoft’s cloud to Redstor, all through an intuitive web interface.

In the event of an issue, this gives you rapid access to data in OneDrive, SharePoint, Exchange, Teams and OneNote for business continuity.

With Redstor you can:

  • Scale protection easily.
  • Ensure no impact on local bandwidth.
  • Avoid capital expenditure.
  • Try for free with no commitment.

There is no fail-safe method to stop cyber-criminals, and there is no way to eliminate ransomware. However, with the correct cloud backup, you can ensure that your company isn’t kept captive by their demands.

To experience how fast and simply you can safeguard, manage, and restore your Microsoft 365 data, sign up for a 14-day free trial of Redstor today.

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