Google just foiled the biggest HTTPS DDoS attack in history


Google has confirmed that one of its cloud customers was the target of the largest HTTPS distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack ever reported.

As Bleeping Computer reported, a Cloud Armor client was the target of an attack that totaled 46 million requests per second (RPS) at its peak.

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The aforementioned figure means it’s the biggest such attack in history – it’s more than double the previous record holder (up almost 80%, to be exact); a 26 million RPS attempt blocked by Cloudflare in June.

The latest incident started on June 1 with an initial goal of directing 10,000 RPS to the HTTP/S load balancer. Within eight minutes, that number grew tenfold to 100,000 RPS, triggering Google’s Cloud Armor protection by creating an alert derived from traffic analytics data.

Once the ten minute mark was reached, an unprecedented 46 million requests per second were sent to the victim.

These numbers may not mean much to those unfamiliar with the nature of HTTPS DDoS attacks, but for reference, Google said this is equivalent to receiving all of the daily requests that Wikipedia receives within 10 seconds. .

Because the target was executing Cloud Armor’s recommended rule for this situation, its operations were able to continue unaffected.

Representation of a hacker using a laptop.

The amount of traffic sent to the cloud service took over an hour. “Presumably, the attacker likely determined it was not having the desired impact while incurring significant expense to execute the attack,” Google said in its report.

Google researchers clarified that traffic from the HTTPS DDoS incident was routed through 5,256 IP addresses located in 132 countries. And it wasn’t done by an amateur; due to the use of encrypted requests (HTTPS), the devices involved in the operation could theoretically have been supported by powerful computing resources.

As for the specific type of malware linked to the attack, Google was unable to identify an exact name. That said, analysis from where the assault emerged indicates the involvement of Mēris, which is a botnet behind two previous DDoS record holders (17.2 million RPS and 21.8 million RPS, respectively).

Prior to Google’s report of the new record, the largest HTTPS DDoS attack in history – carried out via a botnet of 5,067 devices – was recorded by DDoS mitigation firm Cloudflare.

DDoS attacks in general are on the rise, with Cloudflare reporting a 175% increase in such incidents in the fourth quarter of 2021 alone. Microsoft itself successfully prevented the biggest DDoS attack of all time (not to be confused with HTTPS DDoS), which reached 3.47 terabits per second.

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