Distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks have become a major problem in the past period, but according to a new study presented at the Virus Bulletin 2012 conference, the malicious operations plummet during major holidays.
For instance, CloudFlare researchers noticed a considerable drop in the number of DOS attacks on Earth Day (April 22), Memorial Day weekend (May 29), around the time of the Chinese New Year (January 30), after St. Patrick’s Day (March 20) and before the US Independence Day (June 28).
It’s not easy to demonstrate that there’s a clear connection between the holidays and the fact that DDOS attacks dropped, but it doesn’t seem to be a simple coincidence.
However, if the theory is valid, it means that shutting down a computer is good not only for the environment, but also for the health of the Internet.
“My suspicion is that the Earth Day effect could be real: home botnet computers were turned off and botnet-based attacks declined,” Sophos Senior Technology Consultant Graham Cluley explained
“If everyone turned off their computers each night, it might not just be good for the environment because of the lower levels of energy being consumed.. it could also mean a reduction in botnet attacks.”
CloudFlare experts have presented other DDOS-related findings during their presentation at Virus Bulletin. They claim that many of the attacks are easy to mitigate because they come from what are called “Martian IP addresses.”
These IP packets
appear when IP addresses are spoofed in DOS attacks. They’re IPs such as 192.168.0.0/16, 127.0.0.0/8, or 10.0.0.0/8, which are valid in local area networks, but not on public Internet. This makes them very easy to filter.
Last week, the company’s representatives published an interesting advisory about 65Gbps attacks
and how they could be mitigated.