Episode 161: 3 Years after Mirai, IoT DDoS Problem may get Worse

Three years after the Mirai botnet launched some of the biggest denial of service attacks ever seen, DDoS is a bigger problem and ever. Even worse: we stand on the made up of webcams and other Internet of things as technologies like 5G bring greater bandwidth to connected endpoints. In this podcast, we speak with Hardik Modi, the senior director of threat intelligence at the firm NetScout Systems* about the lessons from his company’s latest threat intelligence report.


August marked the three year anniversary of the discovery of the Mirai botnet. This month and next mark anniversaries of that botnet’s most notable attack, including the 2016 attack on the website of security journalist Brian Krebs’ website and the takedown of DYN, a managed DNS hosting firm in October 2016

Mirai was notable for its use of Internet of Things devices like digital video recorders and webcams to carry out massive denial of service attacks. The attack, which caused ripple effects on services like Amazon.com and Twitter, raised awareness of the threat posed by Internet connected “stuff.”

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Three years later, however, all that awareness has done little to stem the tide of DDoS attacks. The most recent Threat Intelligence Report released by NetScout, in fact, observed 4 million DDoS attacks in just the first six months of 2019. That was a 34% jump from the same period in 2018. 

Hardik Modi, is the Senior Director of Threat Intelligence at NetScout.

What’s going on? To find out we invited Hardik Modi, the senior director of threat intelligence at the security firm NetScout into the Security Ledger studios to talk.

One thing that he points to as a contributing factor in the growth of denial of service attacks is the “democratization” of DDoS technology. Push button DDoS tools and outsourced services now make even large scale attacks available to unskilled actors, Modi told me. 

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In this conversation, Hardik and I talk about the factors contributing to the growth in DDoS attacks in the last six months and why very large DDoS attacks seem to be waning. We also discuss the impact that emerging technologies like 5G wireless technology will have on the Internet threat landscape. 


(*) Disclosure: This podcast was sponsored by NetScout Systems for more information on how Security Ledger works with its sponsors and sponsored content on Security Ledger, check out our About Security Ledger page on sponsorships and sponsor relations.

As always,  you can check our full conversation in our latest Security Ledger podcast at Blubrry. You can also listen to it on iTunes and check us out on SoundCloudStitcherRadio Public and more. Also: if you enjoy this podcast, consider signing up to receive it in your email. Just point your web browser to securityledger.com/subscribe to get notified whenever a new podcast is posted. 

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