VeriSign warns of growing denial-of-service threat

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Report offers advice for protecting against attacks.

Web authentication firm VeriSign has published a report offering advice on how to guard against the growing threat of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

The DDoS Mitigation report is designed to guide enterprises through the minefield of internet security, which VeriSign said had changed dramatically over the past 12 months.

"If the past year has shown us anything, it is that DDoS threats represent a moving target that is growing more sophisticated and difficult to defend against, even as the attacks themselves grow more frequent," said Ken Silva, chief technology officer at VeriSign.

"We published this white paper as a blueprint for organisations looking to stay ahead of this rapidly evolving threat to revenues, operations, customer loyalty and network reliability."

VeriSign cited a recent survey from analyst firm Forrester which found that just under three-quarters of IT decision makers had experienced some kind of DDoS attack in the past year, and that almost a third had suffered a disruption of service.

The company warned that hackers had matured over the past year, and are creating subtle "custom" attack bots that mimic legitimate traffic.

VeriSign added that even "budget-minded amateurs can spawn successful attacks by renting botnets for as little as US$200 for 24 hours".

The report offers a range of best practices for organisations looking to keep their business running in the face of an attack.

Companies should centralise data gathering, for example, making it easier to analyse the appearance of normal traffic and create policies for reacting to an attack.

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