Citrix warns of an active DDoS attack targeting application delivery controllers

Citrix Systems Inc. issued a Distributed Denial of Service Attack Advisor that actively targets Citrix application delivery controllers.

The campaign involves overloading the Citrix ADB Datagram Transport Layer Security network to cause bandwidth depletion that could result in potential downtime. It is said that the effect of the attack is more pronounced on connections with limited bandwidth.

The exact number of affected users has not been revealed, and Citrix said only that the scope of the attack is currently limited to a small number of customers worldwide and that there are no critical vulnerabilities associated with the event. According to ZDNet, the attacks mainly involved online gaming services such as Steam and Xbox, and the attacks were first discovered last week.

A DDoS attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt traffic on a computer or network by flooding it with internet traffic. As Cloudflare notes, it’s like an unexpected traffic jam that clogs the highway, preventing traffic from reaching its destination.

The intent here is not to steal data, although occasionally DDoS may hide another form of attack, but to inflict pain on either the target company or its users. What the intent of these new attacks is is not known; that he was targeting a gaming service just before Christmas could indicate a motive because attackers had in the past targeted gaming services, most notably Xbox Live and PlayStation Network in December 2014; in many of these attacks the motive was simply trolling and young hackers showed they could.

Users of Citrix ADC products are advised to monitor the amount of outgoing traffic for any significant anomalies or jumps. The company added that it is currently “working to improve performance in DTLS to eliminate susceptibility to this attack” which should be available from January 12.

Meanwhile, customers who may be affected by a DDoS attack can temporarily disable DTLS to stop the attack and eliminate susceptibility to the attack. Citrix, however, warns that disabling the DTLS protocol can lead to limited performance degradation of real-time applications that use DTLS.

File: Arielinson / Wikimedia Commons

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