Nominum Research continues to refine algorithms, working toward more generalized methods to quickly detect “anomalous” activity that might represent DDoS, bots, or various other undesirable behaviors. To simplify somewhat, algorithms examine high speed, real-time, data streams and compare a small window of incoming queries to a very large “normal” historical sample on a continuous basis. Unexpected variations are flagged and relevant data is captured for further analysis.
2014 saw numerous huge spikes in DDoS traffic – some as large as 5 billion queries per day across Nominum worldwide data set which covers around 3% of overall ISP DNS traffic. Extrapolating, this meant more than 150 Billion unwanted queries across the Internet on the peak days.
Recent analysis of DNS data revealed some interesting pictures. Drilling down into detailed data for a single resolver showed one of the DDoS attacks that occur every day. In this case a small domain, 888fy.com, representing a gaming site in China (a common category of targets) was attacked. The graph below shows 2 different attacks, each lasting several hours.
Europol recently took control of the ramnit botnet in order to disrupt more than 3.2 million infections around the world. Ramnit is a sophisticated bot that appeared in 2010 and spread quickly. It enables remote access to infected machines and can steal files and credentials. It can also monitor web browsing and even use stolen website cookies to impersonate victims. Internet users are nearly always unaware they have been infected by malware and usually not well equipped to deal with infections even when they are made aware. It is also not realistic to expect all bots will be taken down, in fact the reverse is true, few bots are.
Reducing overhead, delivering ROI, and going green have all become business priorities in recent years. Data centers alone now represent more than 2% of total worldwide energy consumption, with growth rates of as much as 12% per year. That’s a huge chunk of megawatts spinning processors! Reducing energy consumption is not only an eco-priority, it’s also a business imperative as overhead costs rise.
We’ve written extensively about open DNS proxies running in home gateways (“open home gateways”). Affected devices proxy DNS queries received on their WAN interface to whatever DNS resolver they are configured to use. This is typically the DNS configured by the ISP. The DNS has always been a handy tool for various kinds of attacks and the presence of these gateways gives attackers a back door into provider networks.
I don’t think anyone would dispute software is the new currency in networks.
The Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) initiative calls for defining and deploying the next generation of network functions with software, rather than specialized hardware. Software Defined Networking (SDN) is another visible trend which although currently focused on data centers, is predicted to impact networking markets broadly in the future.
Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is getting a lot of attention in Telecom circles these days. Initiated by leading providers around the world the NFV effort now has more than 150 participants crossing all of the functional boundaries in networking. NFV has been motivated by the astonishing array of appliances that have crept into provider networks. Even DNS appliances have emerged but the value proposition is almost exclusively around convenience rather than optimizing DNS for carrier environments.
Nominum, the provider of the N2, an open and scalable network-based service delivery platform for communication service providers (CSPs) joined the influential global industry body, TM Forum. Nominum is helping the world’s leading CSPs offer personalized, secure connected experiences that enhance the overall customer experience. Nominum’s N2 platform allows CSPs to leverage customer behavior data and network assets to deliver the next generation in customer experience. Using the platform, CSPs can use intelligent policy management, advanced notification and action tools to increase brand loyalty, and monetize new tools and services.