Attack on One of Internet's Oldest Protocols Raises Concerns for the Future
It has been revealed by data security firm Cloudflare, that a large-scale attack on a component of internet security was attempted at the beginning of this week, on Monday 10 February.
According to Cloudflare, this was the biggest attack of its kind to date, in which an area of vulnerability in the Network Time Protocol (NTP) was used to flood servers with damagingly large amounts of data. This method of malicious activity is known as distributed denial of service (DDoS).
The NTP is one of the oldest internet protocols still in operation, and is used to synchronise all connected computers to Coordinated Universal Time. The protocol is crucial to the functionality of the internet as we know it, but is very insecure and suceptible to malicious activity due to the time in which it was developed.
Cloudflare have not yet revealed which of their clients was the focus of the attack, but it has been reported that servers in Europe were targeted, and as a result some key weaknesses in the infrastructure of the internet have been made evident, causing severe worry for online security specialists.
Source: Computer Weekly