By Nick Heath
6 March 2008
A major UK gambling business has warned that all commercial websites are
at risk from a new type of unstoppable and undetectable botnet denial of
Gala Coral ecommerce's gambling sites were taken down for almost 30
minutes by the next generation 10Gb distributed denial of service (DDoS)
attack, delegates at the e-crime congress in London were told this week.
Attackers disguised the build up of traffic from up to 30,000 PC and
Apple Mac botnet computers during the attack by analysing and
reproducing the browsing habits of the sites' typical users.
Peter Bassill, information security officer with Gala Coral ecommerce,
said attackers spent about four months infiltrating the sites ahead of
the attack last year, using stolen credit card details to open the
thousands of accounts needed to generate the huge volume of web traffic
to swamp Coral's servers.
More worrying, during a second attack the botnet blocked attempts by the
websites to stop them using a port firewall while continuing sending out
data to carry on the attack.
Bassill said: "This is a very worrying step we have seen in botnets, we
have no way of responding to this without working with law enforcement.
The attacks will come from many hosts in small volumes and they are
going to be very hard to spot.
"If they can do that to us, a large gaming company, than think what they
could do it they find a way to target companies like BT or the nuclear
Bassill said DDoS attacks brought its websites down about twice per year
and attacks were often preceded by demands for more than $100,000.
Subscribe to InfoSec News