Cool Ideas speaks out on 'zombie' attacks crippling its network - TechCentral

Cool Ideas speaks out on ‘zombie’ attacks crippling its network

Fibre Internet service provider Cool Ideas has finally spoken out about a wave of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on its infrastructure that have intermittently crippled access for its customers.

The company, which has until now only issued terse statements on its website and on social media about the incidents, on Friday sent out a detailed e-mail to its clients explaining what has happened and what it’s doing to try to mitigate the problem.

The company said it fell victim to what are known as “DNS amplification attacks”.

“Speaking figuratively, it’s the equivalent of thousands upon thousands of The Walking Dead zombies on a highway heading to our network,” it said.

DDoS attacks typically involve a perpetrator using multiple systems to flood a target’s computers and other resources with junk network traffic to overload them, crippling services in the process.

It said “someone with malicious intent flooded our highways from London — where we pick up a large amount of the world’s Internet towards South Africa — with tons of useless traffic that wasn’t really destined for you”.

It said it couldn’t use a firewall to block the DDoS attacks because “there isn’t a firewall big enough”.

‘Zombie-scrubbing’

“During the periods of the attacks, we employed the use of some zombie-scrubbing services, such as Internet Solutions, and used as much of our backup capacity to balance things as we could”.

“This left some customers with a degraded service, but with some services at least,” the e-mail said.

It added that it is upgrading its bandwidth to London 14-fold and putting in new technical measures to thwart the attacks.

The company said it is impossible to know where the DDoS attacks originated. “The ‘why’ doesn’t matter. The Internet is the ‘Wild West’, and all we can do is to implement the best measures we possibly can to provide you with a reliable, safe service.”

It said it already had put measures in place to protect its network, but that these weren’t sufficient given the scale of the attacks. “We have to get bigger guns to be able to handle a bigger attack. Some of these measures are in place and some are in process.”

The company admitted it needs to do a better job of communication and will ask customers to opt in to new e-mail and SMS notifications about future incidents. It also plans to launch an app soon, which will offer the same.

“When the zombie hordes attack … our clients and our reputation, we take it seriously. We won’t stand down, surrender or give up.”  — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media

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