RFI: DDoS Against Government and Civilian Web Sites

Published: 2009-07-08
Last Updated: 2009-07-09 02:34:21 UTC
by Marcus Sachs (Version: 5)
9 comment(s)

We are aware of an ongoing DDoS against several high-profile web sites.  Public details are in these online stories:



There have also been sketchy reports that South Korean websites are experiencing outages.  We are looking for any additional information, especially technical reports or packet captures.  Please use our contact page.

UPDATE 1:  Several news agencies are reporting that attacks in South Korea are ongoing.  There are some allegations that North Korea is involved but we have not seen any technical attribution.  Shadowserver's DDoS charts clearly show the increases in DDoS traffic.  (see update 3 below)

UPDATE 2: Speculation on who is behind this series of attacks based on the evidence we have seen is just that, speculation. Given the mountain of evidence we have to review, judgements on attribution or motivations would be inaccurate at best and irresponsible at worst. As we analyze all the data we will hopefully be able to provide more clarity into these attacks.  There does appear to be many malicious binaries responsible for this activity, some of these binary files appear to have different target lists. - AndreL

UPDATE 3:  The good people over at Shadowserver wrote to tell us that the spike in their DDoS graph is not related to the US/KR attacks.  They said that the timing is just coincidental and that they have no specific statistics on the US/KR event.

UPDATE 4:  Trendmicro and PandaLabs have posted lists of sites that are being attacked, as well as some other information.  You can get this information at the links below. - AndreL




Marcus H. Sachs
Director, SANS Internet Storm Center

Keywords: DDoS
9 comment(s)


Seems like S. Korea has been hit for sure:
Why the "RFI" label in the title of this diary entry? I have not seen any news story confirmation that RFI has played a role in these attacks. Botnet herding by use of RFI attacks against vulnerable PHP websites is certainly a widely used attack vector to draft web servers into a botnet but I have not seen any confirmed reports that these DDoS attacks are leveraging compromised websites. Has anyone seen news to the contrary?
RFI = Request for Information
Ah... acronym conflits strike again as the RFI I run into day-to-day is Remote File Inclusion attacks.
Can we get a list of IPs under attack so we can check our flow data for customers hammering those sites? We SPs can be part of the solution if we can get the necessary info.
Yes please, prominent IPs under attack and common ports or attack vectors if possible?
re update 4 - the US govt sites all seem OK. Others, such as www.president.go.kr are still inaccessible.
I just received a "Nice" email from a company trying to exploit these attacks to increase their business ...
***************Pasted content of the email *************

I have some important news that I wanted to share with you regarding a recent information security threat that SecureWorks has been tracking. SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit (CTU) and Joe Stewart have been analyzing the code behind the botnet launching the denial-of-service attacks against US government sites, US commercial sites and South Korean sites. Stewart was quoted in nearly 4,000 press articles for the work.

The July 4th weekend DDOS exposed a range of vulnerabilities in the attacked sites. While several ill-prepared organizations had their sites shut down, the protected ones were met with minimal disruption.

If you are interested in learning more, you can readfurther information about the DDOS attacks here:

New York Times:
Business Week: http://www.nytimes.rsvp1.com/s15040nmiit
Washington Post: http://www.businessweek.rsvp1.com/s191c1nmiiv
CIO: http://www.washingtonpost.rsvp1.com/s15540nmiixhttp://www.cio.rsvp1.com/s19581nmiiy

Along with the DDOS attacks, SecureWorks also made news this weekwith our acquisition of VeriSign’s MSS business: http://www.secureworks.rsvp1.com/s194c1nmiiz ). SecureWorks now has over 2,600 clients worldwide and is the largest pure-play provider of Managed Security and Security-as-a-Service offerings.

If you would be interested in speaking with me or my associate, Don Addington, further about any of the above information, please do not hesitate to give me a call or respond with an email.

Have a great weekend!
******************* End of Paste ***************

Does this bother anyone else??

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