A part of my day job involves managing various servers and web services. There was a time that dealing with DDoS attacks was a mega stressful event that could last from hours to days. It generally involved waking up to the boss or team members or automated alarms messaging me about dead services, followed by a whack-a-mole game of blocking and unblocking IP address ranges or blocks on firewalls as waves of attacks ebbed and flowed.
This would continue until the attackers moved on and the attacks subsided. And sometimes when I believed the attack was finished, another wave would start, triggering another round of stressful combat. It was exhausting.
This was during the IPv4-only days. Can’t imagine what life would be like now that IPv6 has become ubiquitous, necessitating web services to have dual-stack support. That is, if one doesn’t have a reliable DDoS mitigation service to help fend off the attacks.
During the past few days there have been a number of DDoS attacks on the systems I manage. In some cases they are rolling bot waves that move through lists of sites to either test their tools, their might to crash servers, or to find exploits they can abuse later. Other times it’s retaliatory, for example if a site has closed an exploit they were abusing for a long time, as we had done recently.
Thankfully, Cloudflare has been the cure to most of my DDoS stress, nicely combating the onslaught without much effort from me. Now what I see when I wake up is a notification email from Cloudflare about the DDoS attack. My reaction? Curiosity but no urgency and certainly no stress.
I can take my time with my morning routine, grab a mug of coffee and then calmly review what the DDoS event is all about. Meanwhile the services are humming fine all along while the knowledge of the DDoS attack remains a secret between me and Cloudflare and nobody, including the boss, is any the wiser.
Thank you Cloudflare!