Massive Gaming DDoS Exploits Widespread Technology
Akamai recently registered the fourth-largest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack ever detected by the firm. The attackers used a UDP amplification technique known as WS-Discovery (WSD) to target an organization in the gaming industry with up to 35/Gbps of malicious traffic.
Security researchers identify two main reasons for why threat actors have started abusing WSD, which provides network discovery and connectivity for consumer devices, in DDoS campaigns. First of all, WSD can be triggered to generate lengthy error responses to malicious traffic. This can enable cybercriminals to amplify traffic by up to 15,300% of the original byte size. Secondly, WSD is easy to exploit. The technology is used in hundreds of thousands of printers and other Internet-of-things (IoT) devices and has been insecurely implemented because it was “never meant to live on the internet.”