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RealTime IT News

Researchers Say DoS Attacks Average 4,000 a Week

Research conducted by the University of California at San Diego has revealed that more than 4,000 denial-of-service attacks are launched every week.

By 'listening' to a large segment of the Internet -- known as an A-class network, UCSD researchers were able to discern traces of "scattered responses," typical indicators of DoS attacks. During three weeks of observation the team discerned an average of 4,000 attacks per week -- half of which lasted less than 10 minutes.

Denial-of-service attacks are attempts to overload or crash computers connected to the Internet by targeting them with so much data that they can no longer process legitimate requests. According to UCSD, most DoS attacks go unreported whilst only a small percentage make the media.

By controlling all traffic flowing through the A-class network, UCSD were able to peg individual servers that were under attack and identify the victims.

"We saw an odd, disproportionate concentration of attacks towards a small group of countries," said Stefan Savage, a professor of computer science at UCSD. "Surprisingly, Romania, a country with a relatively poor networking infrastructure, was targeted nearly as frequently as the .net and .com top-level domains."

Researchers were quick to stress that the study is incomplete. "There are a number of other attacks we cannot see," noted Savage, adding that though incomplete, the USCD study is best estimate thus far about the frequency of DoS attacks. "In fact, we believe that our research provides the only publicly available data quantifying denial-of-service activity in the Internet."