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Protecting Linkful Software against lengthy DDoS attacks

Founded in 2012, Linkful Software Partners provides clients with state-of-the-art IT services, ranging from customized software development to offshore software development. In just over a year, Linkful Software has become a leader in IT solutions, bringing the newest and most innovative IT services to its clients on a global scale. The Philippine-based company provides premium services at affordable prices, specializing in software development, e-commerce application development, web-portal design and development, content management solutions, and database development.

The Problem

In June of 2013, while providing services to an online gaming company, Linkful Software experienced its largest attack since its inception. Through a series of complex Zero Day attacks, systems were damaged through specifically targeted vulnerabilities previously unknown to Linkful Software. The sophisticated nature of these attacks allows them to bypass detection from mitigation services, as they contain no recognizable signatures.

Hit with a combination of zombie, bandwidth, and DNS (Domain Name System) attacks over the course of several days – more than 72 hours, Linkful Software suffered a wide range of damages from service outages to infrastructure damage. Zombie attacks flooded servers, using networks of bots to bring about a 130-fold increase in connections, preventing legitimate users from accessing its services. Bandwidth attacks then flooded ICMP, UDP, and TCP SYN servers with up to 10 Gbps. These damages rendered services unavailable to its users, which if not fixed promptly, would drastically hurt the company’s business operations and reputation as a leader in premium, reliable IT services. “We used to think that we could handle the DDoS problems ourselves via appliances and evasive tactics. This incident has taught us the reality of that; attackers nowadays are far more advanced than a year ago”, stated Howard Lim, Director at Linkful Software.

Nexusguard’s Interception

Aligning its goals with Linkful Software’s business goals and security needs, Nexusguard moved quickly in responding to the attacks and bringing systems back to normal. Zero-Day emergency response kicked in immediately, activating emergency measures to maintain partial service for Linkful Software, while Nexusguard’s SOC and R&D team engaged in a relentless battle with the attacker, responding and evolving promptly to every changing attack. Sparing no time or resources, Nexusguard worked very closely with Linkful Software to create a highly customized security plan tailored towards their urgent needs, in order to thoroughly and swiftly eliminate the attacks or any possible threat of an attack.

The Attacker Strikes Back

With Nexusguard working round the clock, Linkful Software was well on its way to recovering from the attacks and restoring normal operations. However, more determined than ever to bring down their services, the attacker then shifted focus to other components of the company that were not under Nexusguard’s protection – in this case, their DNS services. Hit with major DNS attacks, their entire website became inaccessible. It was discovered that their DNS services were hosted by a third party provider, who was not able to find a viable solution to eliminate the attacks. Pledging a duty to its customers, Nexusguard quickly stepped in, setting up emergency DNS protection with the third party provider to ensure that every aspect of Linkful Software would be well protected. “When the attackers switched their focus and brought down our 3rd-party DNS provider, Nexusguard provided the solution to that without hesitation or financial commitment from us,” said Howard Lim.

The Result

Though engaged in a long extensive battle with a ruthless attacker, where most DDoS mitigation providers would suspend services before completing mitigation because of the enormous amount of resources needed, Nexusguard stayed by Linkful Software’s side every step of the way until all attacks were terminated and all services were fully functioning – even those from an outside service provider. Nexusguard’s quick response team and highly customized security strategy kept damages to a minimum and allowed Linkful Software to resume normal business activity. Under Nexusguard’s cutting-edge protection, Linkful Software is once again providing clients with the reliable uninterrupted services that have made it a leader in the IT industry. “Their spirit of ‘customer-first’ has made an impression on me,” said Howard Lim. “Thanks to Nexusguard’s speedy delivery, we were able to recover from the advanced attacks that took down our sites.”

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“Attackers nowadays are far more advanced than a year ago. Thanks to Nexusguard’s speedy delivery, we were able to recover from the advanced attacks that took down our sites. Their spirit of ‘customer-first’ has made an impression on me.”

Howard Lim,
Director at Linkful Software