Memcached servers can be hijacked for massive DDoS attacks

A flaw in the implementation of the UDP protocol for Memcached servers can allow anyone to launch a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack with little effort.

The problem was first discovered by security researchers at content delivery network (CDN) specialist Cloudflare. Since then, CDN specialist Akamai and security provider Arbor Networks have also published their findings.

Memcached is a Web-based massive memory cache for database-drive sites, such as websites, that caches the most frequently retrieved data and keeps it in memory rather than getting it from the hard disk over and over again. It is a combination of open-source software and standard server hardware that consists of memory, memory, and more memory.

What researchers found is Memcached developers have implemented support for the UDP protocol in an unsecure way. Cloudflare said it detected several DDoS attacks carried out via exposed Memcached servers in the past few days, which is what led to the discovery.

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