We’re pleased to introduce Cloudflare’s free Botnet Threat Feed for Service Providers. This includes all types of service providers, ranging from hosting providers to ISPs and cloud compute providers.
This feed will give service providers threat intelligence on their own IP addresses that have participated in HTTP DDoS attacks as observed from the Cloudflare network — allowing them to crack down on abusers, take down botnet nodes, reduce their abuse-driven costs, and ultimately reduce the amount and force of DDoS attacks across the Internet. We’re giving away this feed for free as part of our mission to help build a better Internet.
Service providers that operate their own IP space can now sign up to the early access waiting list.
Cloudflare’s unique vantage point on DDoS attacks
Cloudflare provides services to millions of customers ranging from small businesses and individual developers to large enterprises, including 29% of Fortune 1000 companies. Today, about 20% of websites rely directly on Cloudflare’s services. This gives us a unique vantage point on tremendous amounts of DDoS attacks that target our customers.
DDoS attacks, by definition, are distributed. They originate from botnets of many sources — in some cases, from hundreds of thousands to millions of unique IP addresses. In the case of HTTP DDoS attacks, where the victims are flooded with HTTP requests, we know that the source IP addresses that we see are the real ones — they’re not spoofed (altered). We know this because to initiate an HTTP request a connection must be established between the client and server. Therefore, we can reliably identify the sources of the attacks to understand the origins of the attacks.
As we’ve seen in previous attacks, such as the 26 million request per second DDoS attack that was launched by the Mantis botnet, a significant portion originated from service providers such as French-based OVH (Autonomous System Number 16276), the Indonesian Telkomnet (ASN 7713), the US-based iboss (ASN 137922), the Libyan Ajeel (ASN 37284), and others.
The service providers are not to blame. Their networks and infrastructure are abused by attackers to launch attacks. But, it can be hard for service providers to identify the abusers. In some cases, we’ve seen as little as one single IP of a service provider participate in a DDoS attack consisting of thousands of bots — all scattered across many service providers. And so, the service providers usually only see a small fraction of the attack traffic leaving their network, and it can be hard to correlate it to malicious activity.
Even more so, in the case of HTTPS DDoS attacks, the service provider would only see encrypted gibberish leaving their network without any possibility to decrypt or understand if it is malicious or legitimate traffic. However, at Cloudflare, we see the entire attack and all of its sources, and can use that to help service providers stop the abusers and attacks.
Leveraging our unique vantage point, we go to great lengths to ensure that our threat intelligence includes actual attackers and not legitimate clients.
Partnering with service providers around the world to help build a better Internet
Since our previous experience mitigating Mantis botnet attacks, we’ve been working with providers around the world to help them crack down on abusers. We realized the potential and decided to double down on this effort. The result is that each service provider can subscribe to a feed of their own offending IPs, for free, so they can take action and take down the abused systems.
Our mission at Cloudflare is to help build a better Internet — one that is safer, more performant, and more reliable for everyone. We believe that providing this threat intelligence will help us all move in that direction — cracking down on DDoS attackers and taking down malicious botnets.
If you are a service provider and operate your own IP space, you can now sign up to the early access waiting list.