How to identify and deter IP booters on your network?

How to identify and deter IP booters on your network?

IP booter is a software or a service that allows attackers to overwhelm networks and servers with fake traffic to take them offline. Attackers use IP booters to perform distributed denial-of-service attacks by sending massive amounts of dummy traffic to the target from different sources at once. This makes it very difficult for the victim to filter out malicious traffic from legitimate user traffic.

how does a stresser work? IP booter attacks work by leveraging vulnerabilities in protocols like UDP and ICMP. Instead of establishing proper connections, they exploit these protocols by sending large numbers of spoofed UDP or ICMP packets to the target. It floods the network with junk traffic, using up available bandwidth and overloading network infrastructure or services. As a result, legitimate users cannot access the target network or server.

Identifying an IP booter attack

Detecting whether your network is under an IP booter DDoS attack can be difficult, as the incoming traffic seems legitimate at first glance.

  • Sudden spike in inbound network traffic – If your network bandwidth usage dramatically shoots up without explanation, it indicates an attack. The traffic spikes from IP booter attacks are usually extreme.
  • High volumes of UDP/ICMP traffic – These protocols are commonly exploited in IP booter attacks due to vulnerabilities that allow fake traffic to be easily generated. Analyze traffic to check for high UDP/ICMP volumes.
  • Packets from random source IP addresses – DDoS traffic will come from many different compromised devices spread across the internet. It makes the source IP addresses random and widely distributed.
  • High error and retry rate – Due to a barrage of fake requests, you see communication errors and dropped packets as infrastructure gets overwhelmed.
  • Inability to access resources – As attack traffic floods the network, you experience slow network performance or even a complete inability to access websites and servers. This indicates resources are tied up in dealing with junk requests.

Using IP reputation databases

Online IP reputation databases maintain constantly-updated blacklists of known suspicious or malicious IPs and networks. They are useful for identifying traffic from IP booter attacks. By correlating suspicious inbound traffic IPs with these databases, you find them associated with past malicious activities like scanning, spamming, or even previous DDoS attacks.

Tracing traffic back to source

If a DDoS attack is detected, the next step is attempting to trace the malicious traffic back to its source. Since IP addresses are easily spoofed, this isn’t always straightforward. But working with your ISP, you can trace an attack path back through the various internet routing hops to determine the approximate origin.

Your ISP also tries re-routing network traffic to isolate and capture samples of the malicious traffic for forensics analysis by cybersecurity experts. DDoS mitigation firms also have mechanisms to determine attack vectors. These help identify if a specific IP booter tool or service was used, along with classifying the specific attack pattern.

Ensure you have backups ready in case an attack disrupts access to your servers or data infrastructure. Test restoration procedures regularly.

Danny White