Security Experts:

150,000 IoT Devices Abused for Massive DDoS Attacks on OVH

The hosting provider OVH continues to be targeted by massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks powered by a large botnet capable of generating significant attack traffic.

The first major attack was reported last week by investigative journalist Brian Krebs, whose website had been hit by a 620 Gbps attack. Krebs’ blog had been protected by Akamai free of charge, but the company decided to stop providing protection after the attack began to impact its paying customers.

CloudFlare offered to help, but the journalist decided to secure his website by signing up for Google’s Project Shield, a service that protects freedom of expression from DDoS.

OVH, one of the world’s largest hosting providers, later reported that its systems had been hit by simultaneous attacks that peaked at nearly 1 terabit per second (Tbps).

According to Octave Klaba, the founder and CTO of OVH, the attacks are powered by more than 150,000 Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including cameras and DVRs, capable of launching attacks that exceed 1.5 Tbps.

Klaba said the attacks are ongoing and the size of the botnet continues to increase. OVH has observed various types of attack traffic, including Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) traffic, which attackers only recently started to abuse for DDoS.

 Many cameras, DVRs and routers can be easily hacked because their owners fail to change default credentials or set easy-to-guess passwords. Symantec reported last week that the primary purpose of malware designed to infect IoT devices is to launch DDoS attacks.

The attacks aimed at OVH and Krebs’ website are the largest ones reported so far. Previously, DDoS protection providers had reported seeing 400-500 Gbps attacks and some anti-ISIS hackers claimed to have launched a 600 Gbps attack on BBC websites, although their claims could not be confirmed.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.