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[ISN] DDoS Tools Flourish, Give Attackers Many Options
By Mathew J. Schwartz
February 09, 2012
How hard is it to launch a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack?
Arguably, the hacktivist collective Anonymous has made launching DDoS
attacks look easy, due to its high-profile DDoS campaigns against
everyone from PayPal and MasterCard to the FBI and Department of
Justice. In addition, Anonymous offered the promise of one-click attacks
via its low orbit ion cannon (LOIC) DDoS attack tool.
While LOIC was great at building buzz for Anonymous, it also provided
valuable intelligence for law enforcement agencies, since many users
apparently didn't realize that the tool alone wouldn't obscure their IP
address from the sites they attacked.
But LOIC, it turns out, is just one of many DDoS tools now available for
online use, downloading, or renting. Indeed, there's now a thriving DDoS
tool and botnet ecosystem that includes "single user flooding tools,
small host booters, shell booters, remote access Trojans (RATs) with
flooding capabilities, simple DDoS bots, complex DDoS bots, and some
commercial DDoS services," said Curt Wilson, a research analyst at Arbor
Networks, in a blog post. "Many types of threats can be blended into any
given tool in order to make the tool more attractive and financially
lucrative"--as in, profitable for whoever's renting out the DDoS
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