Rise of DDoS & Bounties

One of the byproducts of our current pandemic is an increase in DDoS attacks focused on companies and internet communities. Distributed denial-of-service is a malicious attack on publicly accessible servers, services, and network infrastructure. An attacker will flood these devices or services with an immense amount of internet traffic often consisting of packets over UDP and at times utilizing multiple zombie PCs that are part of a BOTnet.

According to security vendor Neustar, it has observed a “dramatic rise” in DDoS attacks during a lockdown  and “In the first quarter of 2020, Neustar mitigated more than twice the number of attacks as in first quarter 2019, and in the second quarter of 2020 the company mitigated the largest volumetric attack in Neustar history, and one of the largest in Internet history, at 1.17 Tbps.”

There are ways to not only protect your gaming and your home network but to also mitigate any incoming attacks by a malicious actor. Be wary of opening any email or links that you cannot confirm the source of or may seem suspicious since this is used as an entry for BOTnet infections within your network. Another layer of security to consider is the use of Virtual Private Networks. VPN services are an easy and cost-effective way to not only protect your identity & privacy but to also mitigate any attempted attacks towards you and your home network. It is recommended to use a VPN service that will not store logs of any traffic and can be used on your computer, mobile device as well as offers a connection directly from your home router. If you ever find yourself within a DDoS attack and are not using a VPN service, contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) immediately as they will not only mitigate the attack, but will also investigate the source of the attack on your behalf, most of the time.

In gaming related news, hackerone has announced that Sony will be paying up to $50,000 for PlayStation 4 bug bounties and has already awarded $10,000 for a kernel exploit found within the console. These bounties extend beyond the console and into the PlayStation Network as well, encouraging security bounty hunters and security researchers to not only continue hunting but to also share their findings in an ethical manner that is rewarded. Jumping in on the trend, Microsoft has also announced that it will be paying up to $20K for Xbox Live security exploits. “Like most bug bounty programs, Microsoft is looking for pretty specific/serious security flaws here. Found a way to execute unauthorized code on Microsoft’s servers? They’ll pay for that.”, reports TechCrunch.

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