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BGP Hijacking Attacks Google, Amazon and Other Famous Networks' Traffic!


As per reports, a telecommunication provider that is owned by Russia rerouted traffic which was intended for the most imminent Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and cloud host providers of the globe.

The entire re-direction kept on for around an hour during which it affected over 8,500 traffic routes of the internet. The concerned organizations happen to be few of the most celebrated ones.

Per sources, the brands range across well-known names like Cloudflare, Digital Ocean, Linode, Google, Joyent, Facebook, LeaseWeb, Amazon, GoDaddy, and Hetzner.

Reportedly, all the signs of this attack indicate towards its being a case of hijacking the Border Gateway Protocol, also known as, BGP hijacking. It is the illegitimate takeover of IP prefixes by a hijacker to redirect traffic.

This gives a lot of power in the hands of the hijacker because they could at any time “publish an announcement” stating that the servers of a particular company are on their network. As a result of which all of e.g. Amazon’s traffic would end up on the hijacker’s servers.

In earlier times when Hypertext Transfer Protocol wasn’t as widely used to encrypt traffic, BGP hijacking was a lucrative way to carry Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks and catch and modify traffic.

But in recent times, analysis and decryption of traffic later in time has become easier because of BGP hijacking, as the encryption gets weaker with time.

This predicament isn’t of a new kind. It has been troubling the cyber-world for a couple of decades, mainly because they aim at boosting the BGP’s security. Despite working on several projects there hasn’t been much advancement in improving the protocol to face them.

Google’s network has been a victim of BGP hijacking by a Nigerian entity before. Researchers mention that it is not necessary for a BGP hijacking to be malicious.

Reportedly, “mistyping the ASN” (Autonomous System Number) is one of the other main reasons behind a BGP hijacking, as it is the code via which internet units are recognized and ends up accidentally redirecting traffic.

Per sources, China Telecom stands among the top entities that have committed BGP hijacking, not so “accidentally”. Another famous one on a similar front is “Rostelecom”.

The last time Rostelecom seized a lot of attention was when the most gigantic of financial players were victimized by BGP hijacking including HSBC, Visa, and MasterCard to name a few.

The last time, BGPMon didn’t have much to say however this time, Russian Telecom is in a questionable state, per sources. They also mention that it is possible for the hijack to have occurred following the accidental exposure of the wrong BGP network by an internal Rostelecom traffic shaping system.

Things took a steep turn when reportedly, Rostelecom’s upstream providers re-publicized the freshly declared BGP routes all across the web aggravating the hijack massively.

Per researchers, it is quite a difficult task to say for sure if a BGP hijacking was intentional of accidental. All that could be said is that the parties involved in the hijack make the situation suspicious.

Rostelecom detected more than a hundred thousand cyberattacks in the North-Western Federal district of Russia


In 2019, the Rostelecom Solar JSOC Monitoring and Response Center for Cyberthreats detected and repelled over 1.1 million external attacks on organizations' information resources. At the same time, as always, more than 430 thousand cyberattacks were detected in Moscow. More than 128 thousand cyberattacks were recorded over the year in the North-Western Federal district.

The most common tool of hackers was the use of vulnerabilities in web applications (web portals, email, Internet banks, personal accounts). At the same time, according to Solar JSOC experts, it's easy to hack every third application and gain access to the organization’s server. The number of such attacks increased by 13% in 2019.

"Such dynamics can be associated with the active development of corporate Internet resources, not only in traditional industries (banks, retail), but also in the fuel and energy sector, and the public sector. At the same time, most of these resources have critical vulnerabilities that allow hackers to get privileged access to the organization's resources," explained Vladimir Dryukov, director of the

Rostelecom Solar JSOC Monitoring and Response Center.
Also, in 28% of cases, cybercriminals used the introduction of malware (viruses, Trojans, spyware, etc.) into the information infrastructure of organizations in the region. Across the country, the number of such attacks increased by 11% in 2019. At the same time, hackers are constantly improving their tools, making malware less visible to security tools.

The method of selecting and compromising credentials (logins and passwords) from the Internet resources of organizations was in third place.

According to experts, among other types of cyberattacks, there are attempts to compromise logins and passwords of system administrators, DDoS, and exploitation of known vulnerabilities that were not timely eliminated by information security services of organizations.

Rostelecom to setup honeypot to deal with hackers


The largest Russian provider of digital services and services Rostelecom offered telecom operators to set traps for hackers - honeypots.

The concept of creating a new cyberattack warning system was presented at a meeting of the Information Security working group as part of the Digital Economy national project.

It is known that we are talking about creating special software that will simulate the vulnerability of the server, seeing which hackers try to hack the network of companies. At this time, the program will record all the actions of the attacker and send them to specialists. Experts of Rostelecom are sure that in this way it will be possible to collect information about new methods of hacking.

Operators must set these traps themselves and exchange data with other companies. At the same time, Rostelecom's concept does not imply state financing of the project, and the company does not specify the cost of the entire system.

According to the head of the Russian research center Kaspersky Lab Yuri Namestnikov, businessmen will incur minor expenses. Basically, the money will be used to select specialists and improve servers and security.

IT-experts call telecom operators one of the most interested users of honeypots.  Positive Technologies expert Dmitry Kasymov said that telecom operator can’t be called secure in principle. "During the conduction security audits, we identify many vulnerabilities that allow attackers to leave subscribers without communication, listen to their conversations and intercept SMS, use communication services at their expense and even bypass the operator's billing systems.

These security flaws are already being exploited by hackers, even for stealing money from Bank accounts," explained he.

So, many Russian mobile operators supported Rostelecom's initiative to create a system of honeypots, as the infrastructure of these telecommunications companies still suffers from cybercriminals.

However, Kaspersky Lab experts warn that misuse of the honeypot concept can be dangerous. If you do not configure this type of system properly, it can become a source of additional threats to the network infrastructure.