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How-to Mitigate Bittorrent DDOS Attacks

You’ll know that you’re getting hit with a Bittorrent attack when the server slows down and you see log entries referencing:

Here’s a good article about one sysadmin’s struggle with this type of attack:

http://blog.carlesmateo.com/2015/01/23/stopping-a-bittorrent-ddos-attack/

There are a number of possible strategies to mitigate this attack:

1. CloudFlare will block but it can take time to move DNS to CloudFlare and activate.

2. Create an announce.php file that returns an error like this:

This will use fewer resources then letting WordPress or other CMS return a 404.

3. Block in iptables with a rule like this:

Not sure how efficient this is on a high traffic web server.

4. Block in Apache config:

5. Block with fail2ban as described here:

http://shazbert.com/blog/2015/01/24/fail2ban-china-ddos-announce-bittorent/

Note that Plesk 12 has fail2ban built-in so this fix is easy to implement.

6. If traffic is limited to a range of IP addresses then block that range in any available firewall. For example we’ve defeated this attack in one case by blocking a class B range from China.

Other suggestions on blocking this type of attack are welcomed. Comment below and let us know if you’ve seen this attack and how you handled it.

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