CUTTING THE HEAD OFF THE SNAKE
Apparently, necessity is still the mother of invention. A now classic story told by Christian, a member of the NAP Technologies Managed Services Team…
It started out like any other Tuesday morning. Everything in the Network Operations Center appeared as usual – green lights as far as you can see. We were globally updating a software patch when out of nowhere the alarms started going crazy. All I could think of was, Danger Will Robinson! Danger Will Robinson. This was NOT a false positive.
This all seemed to unfold in just seconds….the three of us yelling back and forth as the attack transformed from a two-headed wolf into an eight-headed hydra in less than 60 seconds. Less than two minutes into it, we all looked up at each other and knew what this was…a Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS) attack – the same kind of multi-threaded attack that has brought down large corporations and countries to their knees in minutes.
The good news was that everyone on the Managed Services team collaborated on the counter-attack Plan A, B and C. These were the responses in the event of a severe DDOS attack. The bad news was that none of us had ever seen a DDOS quite like this: it was meaner, larger, and faster, and it attacked us from virtually everywhere at once. While we were responding to the attack with Plan A, the simple thought of “no pressure”, “no pressure” kept running through my head. If this attack prevailed, it would bring down our network and our clients networks with it, terabytes of private client data would be at risk, and our clients’ worlds would stop.
Just when the attack started to overwhelm us and looked like the rats would win the race, Ted started to scream out his idea; “what if we re-routed all of traffic to our back up pipes and cut the head off this thing”? I looked over to Christopher, we both winced and nodded yes. Ted started the switch over countdown…… 3…..2…..1 …switch…..even though it took only a few seconds for the switch to engage, it seemed like hours. When everything seemed to be normal and the friendly green lights were returning row by row, we all start to breath again, looked at one another and started celebrating.
When a catastrophic event is imminent, quick thinking and the urgency to act are needed…luckily, these are 2 things the NAP Tech Team has in spades.