Series of DDoS attacks plague Linode data centers, infrastructure

Linode U.S. and U.K. locations were hit by a series of DDoS attacks that began Christmas Day.
Linode U.S. and U.K. locations were hit by a series of DDoS attacks that began Christmas Day.

Cloud hosting company Linode reported that a set of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have caused service interruptions at DNS infrastructure and data center locations in the U.S. and the U.K., including Dallas, London, Atlanta, Frankfurt, Newark, N.J., Tokyo, Singapore and Fremont, Calif.

While some have been resolved, new attacks have continued to emerge and some disruptions remain ongoing.

The disruptions began on Christmas Day when the company discovered and resolved connectivity issues affecting the Linode Manager and Website, just days after it completed scheduled maintenance on Xen Linode host servers in the wake of receiving “several Xen Security Advisories (XSAs).”

On December 26, Linode said it experienced DDoS attacks on data centers in London, Dallas, Atlanta and Singapore that posed connectivity issues as well as an attack on its hosted DNS infrastructure that affected performance. Three days later, renewed and sustained attacks hit the Dallas center, causing connectivity problems for the Linode Website, Manager, and API. Likewise on Dec. 30, a large inbound attack prompted connectivity issues for the Linode Manager and Website and the company reported Lish connectivity concerns. December 31 brought another round of attacks on data centers in London, Dallas and Atlanta, which the company said were resolved, though they were quickly followed by  another round of attacks on facilities in Newark, Frankfurt, Fremont, Atlanta and London.

Linode said it is working to mitigate the latest round of attacks but service interruptions remain at those locations, though service has returned in Newark.

“The DoS attack affecting connectivity in London is ongoing and we are still working with our upstream provider to mitigate it,” according to an update on the Linode website. “Users can expect to see packet loss and problems with connectivity to Linodes in London.” 

Attacks on hosting and data centers are commonplace and can be difficult to mitigate. “Unfortunately, the sheer size and scale of hosting or data center operator network infrastructures and their massive customer base presents an incredibly attractive attack surface due to the multiple entry points and significant aggregate bandwidth that acts as a conduit for a damaging and disruptive DDoS attack,” Dave Larson, COO at Corero Network Security, said in emailed comments to SCMagazine.com, noting that the damaging effects can domino.

“The multi-tenant nature of cloud-based data centers can be less than forgiving for unsuspecting tenants,” Larson said. “A DDoS attack, volumetric in nature against one tenant, can lead to disastrous repercussions for others; a domino effect of latency issues, service degradation and potentially damaging and long-lasting service outages.”

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