Mitigating Large-Scale Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks: Lessons from the AWS Case

“Large-scale denial-of-service (DoS) attacks”
For this discussion, I selected the malicious activity of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. A DoS attack is a method of disrupting the functionality of an organization’s network or system (Morris, 2021). This is executed to prevent normal users from accessing the resources of that network, which places the network in a position where services are unavailable. A recent example of a large-scale DoS attack would be the attack targeting Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2020. In this attack, advisories targeted a user through connectionless lightweight directory access protocol reflection (Nicholson, 2023). Essentially, leveraging external servers to significantly increase the amount of data being transmitted to the target’s IP address; upwards of 70 times (Nicholson, 2023). This specific attack greatly impacted AWS, as an example noting that the largest cloud provider can be attacked and rendered nonoperational, as this attack lasted for 72 hours.
The scalable solution is a specific countermeasure AWS put into place to counter DoS attacks. In configuring your virtual infrastructure to be scalable, your resources can expand when the demand increases and consolidate when the demand decreases. This is done dynamically, making for a proactive way of ensuring DoS attacks have a smaller window to target. An additional countermeasure would be configuring a web application firewall for cloud resources. This would enable a mechanism to monitor “good” versus “bad” traffic, thus limiting your attack surface. Overall, the ultimate countermeasure is planning and being proactive with expected behavior. If organizations can conduct analysis and establish what the baseline of traffic looks like, they will be able to get ahead of suspicious behavior and limit the potential for DoS attacks.
Morris, E. (2021) Dos vs. ddos: Which attack is more dangerous and why?, Cybrary. Available at: (Accessed: 15 May 2023).

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