How CloudFlare dealt with a 65Gbps DDOS Attack...

Abraham Williams on Google+ pointed us to an article over on the CloudFlare blog about how they dealt with a recent 65Gbps attack.  The article titled "How to launch a 65Gbps DDOS attack and how to stop one" gives some high level details about how they deal with such attacks and how someone can get 65 Gbps of bandwidth to even start one.  The article does a great job of explaining one method using Open Unrestricted DNS Resolver.  The basic idea is that since DNS can be done with UDP packets you can easily forge the from address and cause the Open Unrestricted DNS Resolver to reply to the targeted computers or network.  This is exploiting two flaws in the internet.  The first that UDP is a fire and forget protocol which doesn't require any proof of where you are coming from.  The second is that Open Unrestricted DNS Resolver exist or at the least allow UDP requests.  DNS can and should be required to be done over TCP which makes forging the information much harder and less reliable.

They have an article they wrote before this one that talks about and apologizes to their customers for the disruption in the first place.  It's found here and called "Post Mortem: What Yesterday's Network Outage Looked Like" .  It is a shinning example of what a company should do when an event like this happens.  It is very transparent, clear and easy to understand and most of all genuine.  While I know it's great PR it's not something I see a lot of companies like them doing.

 

Let us know if you have ever dealt with something like this in your job?

Do you think they took the proper response?

What do you think of the post mortem?

Update: Changed Open to Unrestricted becuase as pointed out in the comments below it seemed to imply the awesome DNS service by a similar name.  They, to our knowledge, were not part of the problem.

One of the simplest ways to tunnel your traffic securely...

So the folks over at LinuxJournal.com wrote up a great tutorial for tunneling through SSH.  What's so great about that?  Well it's an easy way to do simple stuff securely on your home or office network.  You only need to open up port 22 for SSH and point it to an SSH Server.  Then you can point to a local port and use SSH to get it to your destination server securely.

Wait...Can't someone just login to my machine that way?  If you take percausions like using only SSH Keys and not passwords and use a gawk script like this one over at everythingbash.com.  This script will create and send you a cool list of everyone who has and has tried logging in. 

WARNING!!!! I have had several customers and friends notice that their SSH Servers just get pounded with people trying to connect using default or bogus accounts.  So be sure to disable, remove or set the shell to /bin/false any account you aren't using.

Is linux really more secure?

With the recent breaches at Kernel.org and the Linux Foundation several people have started asking is Linux really more secure?  Our assesment of the sitution is that any OS is only as secure as the users and Admin's make it.  A weak user password or failing to keep up with system patches both can end with the same result as the Kernel.org breach showed.  Others like Leo Leporte's Twit Network website were caused by missed updates.  So whether it's Windows, Linux or the Mac poor choices will always lead to insecurity.  Protect your data and that of your fellow users and use long, safe and secure pass phrases.  if your a system admin or Developer push hard to maintain your systems to a reasonable patch level for your company.