This year 2021 is expected to be the year of the consolidation of 5G mobile networks. Last year 5G devices were intended for the high and mid-high range. However, with the passage of time they are becoming more affordable and we can already find 5G smartphones for around € 250. In that sense, 5G networks are going to provide us with higher speed and lower latency than the previous generation. Cybercriminals are aware of this technological advance, and they can use this type of connection because they can operate at a speed similar to that of fiber optics in our homes. Thus, 5G is going to help DDoS attacks to skyrocket.
We are going to start by briefly explaining what 5G technology will bring us and what a DDoS attack is. Then we will explain how 5G will help to increase DDoS attacks.
5G and the short and medium term changes that await us
In the field of telecommunications, 5G refers to the fifth generation of mobile phone technologies. The greatest benefit that this new standard can bring is that we can obtain a download speed higher than 10 Gbit / s .
It will allow the advancement of society by improving safety and sustainability with smarter electrical grids, and with connected vehicles that share data to avoid collisions. In addition, it is expected to help transform the industry with production lines that react autonomously. It will also allow remote access to powerful robots and vehicles in risky environments, and, in addition, we will make greater use of IoT devices, such as, for example, in agriculture to obtain more efficient crops.
What is a DDoS attack and how is it done?
A closely related concept is the denial of service (DoS) attack that aims to disrupt or weaken firewalls, online services, and web pages. In this case that we are going to talk more about, it is the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack , both are similar, but the difference is that in the latter, the attack is carried out by thousands of computers simultaneously instead of by one of them as in the case of DoS.
The typical case of a DDoS attack would consist of:
- Get an army of compromised machines or bots.
- Managing that network of devices under your control from a remote location and focusing your attack on a single target.
In case you don’t know, this set of compromised machines are known as botnets , and thanks to them some really harmful DDoS attacks are executed. Regarding the most used techniques to execute a DDoS attack we have:
- Bandwidth saturation with large volumes of traffic.
- Saturating system resources with semi-open connection requests.
- By blocking web application servers with voluminous requests for random information.
Regarding the technologies and services that we can use to mitigate DDoS attacks, traffic analysis strategies and anomaly detection technologies are of great importance .
5G helps DDoS attacks skyrocket
5G connectivity offers higher bandwidth and lower latency, which will be exploited by cybercriminals to carry out their threats. Another aspect that will make it easier for us to see more DDoS attacks is that we are already seeing 5G mobile rate offers with unlimited data from mobile operators. As we discussed earlier, hackers are going to need a bonet to carry out this type of attack and now they are going to have more devices available.
A significant risk group is IoT devices , as many are insecure by nature because they have not been designed with a configuration that allows them not to be a victim of attacks. However, we may try to make some changes to improve your security. Thus, if we keep these devices updated with the latest firmware, and we change the default password, we will have taken an important step.
In 2020 there have been many DDoS botnet attacks and many devices that have been affected. A serious problem is that more and more types can be used for this purpose. 5G is going to play a crucial role since every time we are going to have more devices connected to the Internet.
Also in a Netscout study , it was found that attackers have stepped up attacks against Microsoft‘s RDP protocol for DDoS attack amplification / reflection. Currently, this implies that, in addition to traditional equipment such as PCs or laptops, we have to deal with the security of a greater number of devices. Which complicates the situation. In summary, 5G with more and more connected devices and increasing bandwidth will make it easier for us to see more and more DDoS attacks.