Threat Level: green Handler on Duty: Didier Stevens

SANS ISC: Having a look at the DDOS tool used in the attacks today - SANS Internet Storm Center SANS ISC InfoSec Forums


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Having a look at the DDOS tool used in the attacks today

 

With the current wikileak driven DDOS attacks I thought I'd have a closer look at the tool being used to conduct the attack. 
The tool that is being distributed if you wish to partake in the attack (and no that is not an invitation or endorsement) is an application called javaLOIC a Java port of Low Orbit Ion Cannon. A tool that can be used to test a site's resilience to DOS attacks.  But obviously if you point it at someone else's the effect can be quite damaging. 
 
To be honest there isn't really much to the application. A pretty screen with some buttons to press and a flood module that crafts some packets to send to the target to deal with. 
    

You enter the twitter ID that has been communicated to you and then once you enter it on the screen you click the "Get Orders" button and when ready you click the "Fire!!" button. Other than that there isn't really that much to the application. 

The application uses a hardcoded URL with an interchangeable twitter ID.  It pulls a json file down and parses it for target, protocol and port information. When the "Fire!!!" Button is pressed a number of sessions are established with the target server (in my test cases 7 sessions were established).  The string "hihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihi" is sent to the port (I assume this may be configurable).  And that is basically it. The flood module cranks out multiple requests at a time and the target server gets busy 

 
So in essence it is a whole bunch of people requesting a resource that is not available on the server.  When you get enough people doing this, something has to give.  In this case the web sites of the targets. If they have an IPS in place it may be as simple as looking for the above string to help slow the attack and keep the site up. 
 
The twitter angle in this application piqued my interest,  it is using the twitter API in a new and creative way, certainly one that hadn't readily occurred to me. However, I guess easy enough for twitter to deal with, but then it likely becomes a game of "wack-a-mole" of find the evil twitter account being used this time round. 
 
Cheers
 
Mark H

 

Mark

392 Posts
ISC Handler
Re: "The twitter angle in this application peaked my interest" - should be "piqued", not "peaked". Thanks.
Anonymous
@pedantry - fixed, it is late :-)
Mark

392 Posts
ISC Handler
"The tool that is being distributed if you wish to partake in the attack is an application called javaLOIC..."

We're not actually advocating that people partake in this illegal attack now, are we? :p
Anonymous
I believe the C# version of the loic is also being used. Source code is available for this version. Looks like iptables rate limiting when properly configured could be a pretty good defense.
James

12 Posts
@sharpesecurity - only th3j35t3r is using XerXes and he stated that he will never release this tool - http://th3j35t3r.wordpress.com. He is also against wikileaks so won't be on the same side as anonymous.
James
4 Posts
could use a Snort sig to watch network traffic to see if anyone on your network is partaking in the DDoS activity
Chavez243

15 Posts
"if you wish to partake in the attack...". Does this statement meet the ethical standard for a certified security professional? From the GIAC certification candidate handbook "GIAC certification holders and those
attempting to obtain GIAC certification at any level must act in a lawful and ethical
fashion for the benefit of the public, the profession and the companies to whom
they provide professional services"
Chavez243
2 Posts
Is the hardcoded URL for the Twitter API call known? Is it a range, list, or other set of IPs:ports? Like to know the easiest way of isolating this issue on my network
Chavez243
2 Posts
I seriously doubt the author's intention here is to suggest or recommend that he or any of us participate.

What I do like about this is that the end user is making a conscious decision to turn his or her computer over to the controller and become an active participant in an illegal activity. It's a voluntary botnet and the volunteer participant is now just as liable as the bot controller.

Oh, and "whack"-a-mole I think is the proper spelling there.
Al

4 Posts
Give Mark a break he's Australian
Al
9 Posts
Is the hardcoded URL for the Twitter API call known? Is it a range, list, or other set of IPs:ports? Like to know the easiest way of isolating this issue on my network
Al
2 Posts
Give Mark a break he's Australian
Al
9 Posts
I used to work with an organization that came under constant attack from anonymous and their LOIC tool. It's very easy to mitigate these DoS attacks as they're not particularly bandwidth intensive. Simply limiting the connections per IP per interval at the firewall was enough to thwart the attack. I believe properly configured Checkpoints are able to detect and drop these attacks altogether. But listening in to their IRC channel is the best way to stay one step ahead of this group. It's not often attackers broadcast their targets and vectors before firing.

All that said, this is much larger and more ambitious. I think the media attention will put pressure on law enforcement to make an example out of someone.
Al
6 Posts
Nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
Al
22 Posts
Seriously guys, lay off Mark and have some respect. Why does everyone get so judgmental anymore.
Matt Guza

5 Posts
@ M,

You seem to be forgetting that prominent U.S. politicians were calling for this guy to be assassinated and "hunted down" like a terrorist.

Once you start talking about murdering people using aerial death drones, people get a little emotional. This whole thing is a circus and there are a few more acts to follow I'm sure.
Matt Guza
22 Posts
No, I was referring to the way everyone just has nothing better to do then look for mistakes in Mark's post or pick it apart. Maybe you didn't notice that though. I don't see how be the grammar police or taking things out of context fixes any security issues.
Matt Guza

5 Posts
It's not a question of respect or Mark's nationality. The question is; Does Mark's statement that identifies the tool "if you wish to partake in the attack" violate the GIAC Code of Ethics? He doesn't identify the tool for the benefit of the public, our profession or so you can better protect the companies to whom you provide professional services. He statement says "if you wish to partake in the attack".
Matt Guza
2 Posts
I took it as Marks mind set was for thoose wrong doers that partake, here is what they use, how it works, etc.
Matt Guza
9 Posts

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