Parabon Responds to DDoS Cybersecurity Attacks Against Government and Commercial Web Servers

Offers Blitz Distributed-Denial-of-Service Testing

August 27, 2009

Parabon, a veteran provider of extreme-scale grid computing, announced today that it is now offering to any organization, public or private, a risk-free, no-obligation "red team" test attack to help them assess the reliability of critical network assets in the face of DDoS attacks . The offer features use of the , a grid-based load and performance testing application that can replicate a full-scale DDoS attack. This offer is Parabon's response to the rising incidence of DDoS attacks against U.S. websites.

... the [Blitz] service is a considerable improvement over current DDoS testing approaches, in which a single stand-alone high-performance computer might be used to generate very fast traffic against a network to test its ability to withstand such loads." Computerworld 4 May 2009.

DDoS Attacks on the Rise

In a press release dated 20 April 2009, Dr. Steven Armentrout, Parabon Founder and CEO, stated "There's a lot of talk about the importance of cybersecurity, but few realize the degree to which many important government network services are vulnerable to cyber attack." Within months, DDoS attacks against multiple high-profile government websites left them inaccessible for many hours, e.g., the White House, Department of Transportation, Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of the Treasury. Hit at the same time were the Washington Post and the New York Stock Exchange. Prior to that, in May 2007, DDoS attacks crippled networks in Estonia for two weeks. In July 2008, the Georgia President's website was taken down. Most recently, in August 2009, similar attacks against Twitter and Facebook denied service to hundreds of thousands of users around the world. Analysts predict the frequency and magnitude of such cyber attacks will continue to escalate, targeting more and more federal, state, and international institutions over the next several years.

Blitz Distributed Testing Service

The Parabon Blitz Distributed Testing Service, the first of the company's new Frontier®-powered cybersecurity applications, provides a variety of distributed test and monitoring services for customer websites, web services and other service-oriented architecture (SOA) applications. Whether used online or within the enterprise, Frontier applications get their computational power from the idle capacity of the computers on which they run, which allows customers to avoid costly hardware expenditures. Moreover, the distributed nature of Frontier makes possible powerful grid applications, such as Blitz, that cannot be implemented on traditional centralized computing architectures. "Many applications require the computational scale or distributed capabilities of a grid," says Armentrout, "and realistic DDoS testing is a great example."

Blitz can be Deployed as an Enterprise Solution or Accessed via the Parabon Computation Grid

Customers can conduct Blitz tests within their own internal networks with Frontier Enterprise, Parabon's enterprise grid software solution that uses idle capacity across an organization's IT infrastructure to power grid applications. Customers can also schedule Blitz tests to be conducted using thousands of computers on Parabon's massive online compute grid to generate targeted network traffic. In either case, based on Blitz test results, Parabon's Vulnerability Assessment Team will provide recommendations for improving network protections against DDoS attacks and instituting procedures for what to do in the event of such an attack.

Effective Platform for Testing and Validating

In addition to cybersecurity, Blitz is also an effective platform for testing and validating the functionality of heavily trafficked sites and services. Such authentic, distributed load and performance testing is essential for pre-production validation of online services.

Blitz is Customizable

Blitz comes with several common traffic generators and its plug-in interface makes it easy to add others. Intending to leverage this extensibility, Parabon is in active discussions with other vendors of testing software about integrating vendor-specific plug-ins into the offering. "Blitz is built on a programmable framework, so it's natural to partner with other testing vendors to provide customers an easy means of running existing tests at scale," Armentrout stated.

  • Do you know if your website or SOA solution is vulnerable to DDoS attack?
  • Does your organization have procedures in place in case of a DDoS?
  • Would you like to find out and make certain you are prepared?

For more information contact media@parabon.com, 703.689.9689 x250.