The Pentagon has in mind a three-pronged counterattack against a decades-old form of cyber assault that continues to paralyze government and industry networks, despite its low cost of sometimes $10 a hit.
Beginning next spring, military-funded researchers are scheduled to produce new tools that would quickly enable organizations to bounce back from so-called distributed denial-of-service attacks.
A recovery rate of at most 10 seconds is the goal, according to the Defense Department.
Today, attackers have a relatively easy time aiming bogus traffic at computer servers to knock them offline. One reason is that computer systems often are consolidated, making for a wide target area. Another weakness is the predictable behavior of systems that support Web services. And finally, certain types of DDoS attacks that evince little malicious traffic go undetected.
Researchers chosen by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will attempt to deny attackers such openings through a three-year program called Extreme DDoS Defense, according to Pentagon officials. The tentative start date is April 1, 2016.
The stability of agency operations, banking, online gaming and many other daily activities are at stake here.
A DDoS attack against Estonia in 2007 allegedly orchestrated by Russian-backed hackers downed government and industry Internet access nationwide for two weeks. More recently, crooks have begun offering Luddites DDoS-for-hire services at subscription rates of $10-$300 a month, according to journalist Brian Krebs.
Lizard Squad, a major provider, allegedly was behind several persistent attacks on online gaming services Xbox and PlayStation. A string of 2011 cyber assaults against Wall…