It was interesting to hear of a massive DDoS that Akamai Prolexic seemingly effortlessly mitigated for its customer, GitHub, on February 28th. The 1.3 Terabits per second attack was mitigated in less than 15-20 minutes and was the largest ever recorded in history.
The attack uses a flaw in memcached servers that allows reflected attacks with amplification of over 500,000. When a 203 byte request is sent to an open memcached server, a 100 megabyte response is sent in return to the spoofed address of the victim. This one of the easiest attacks to carry out since it is easy to spoof and requires no bot-nets.
Akamai predicts that these types of attacks will grow rapidly because of their ease, and has noted a large increase of scanning for these open memcached servers already.
DDoS attacks seem to be the sort of thing that are carried out by people either just for their own amusement or for some sort of ideological reason and never seem to be truly effective in either case. With companies like Akamai, quickly scalabe IaaS, and advanced software and hardware DDoS mitigation technology, I never see systems affected like I have seen in the past. They all just get mitigated now…