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Detecting UDP service amplification abuse

Your organization uses memcached to virtually pool memory and speed up dynamic web applications. While this is helpful for end users, as a security analyst, you know that its lack of authentication and authorization leaves your organization at risk for UDP service amplification abuse, a strategy often used in Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. You want to set up searches to monitor for indications of this type of attack. You can use Splunk software to find attack commands and examine bytes in flow records to detect amplification. 

Data required 

Network protocol data

How to use Splunk software for this use case

You can run many searches with Splunk software to monitor for amplification abuse. Depending on what information you have available, you might find it useful to identify some or all of the following: 

Next steps

To maximize their benefit, the how-to articles linked in the previous section likely need to tie into existing processes at your organization or become new standard processes. These processes commonly impact success with this use case: 

  • Disabling UDP support if it is not required
  • Setting up firewalls on your memcached servers

Measuring impact and benefit is critical to assessing the value of security operations. The following are example metrics that can be useful to monitor when implementing this use case:

  • Potential attacks detected: The number of packet size or packet count disparities between source and destination detected on your network

These additional Splunk resources might help you understand and implement this use case:

Still need help with this use case? Most customers have OnDemand Services per their license support plan. Engage the ODS team at if you require assistance.