Slowloris Attack #whitehat

Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks are a critical threat to web server security. One particularly insidious type is the Slowloris attack, which can incapacitate a server with minimal resources.

Remember, this guide is for educational purposes only, and any unauthorized testing on live servers is illegal and unethical.

What is a Slow Loris Attack?

A Slow Loris attack involves sending numerous incomplete HTTP requests to a target server.

By maintaining these connections open with periodic headers but never completing them, the server's resources are tied up, preventing legitimate users from accessing the server.

Prerequisites

Before we begin, ensure you have.

  • A machine running Linux
  • Basic knowledge of terminal commands
  • Python and Git installed

Step-by-Step Guide

Let's start ensuring we have Python and Git installed in our Linux system.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install python3 python3-pip git

Clone the Slowloris repository from GitHub. This tool is a simple script written in Python that we'll use for our attack demonstration.

git clone https://github.com/gkbrk/slowloris.git
cd slowloris

Install the necessary python packages.

pip3 install -r requirements.txt

Running Slowloris

Now, we're ready to execute the Slow Loris attack. Replace example.com with the domain of your test server.

python3 slowloris.py example.com

Optional: Adjusting Parameters

Slowloris offers several parameters to customize the attack. You can see all available options by running:

python3 slowloris.py -h

Here are some useful parameters:

  • -p PORT, --port PORT: Specify the target web server's port (default is 80).
  • -s SLEEPTIME, --sleeptime SLEEPTIME: Time to sleep between sending each header (default is 15 seconds).
  • -v, --verbose: Enable verbose output.

Example usage:

python3 slowloris.py example.com -p 8080 -s 10 -v

Mitigating Slow Loris Attacks

To protect your server from Slow Loris attacks, consider the following measures:

  • Implement Timeouts: Configure your server to set timeouts for incomplete requests.
  • Rate Limiting: Limit the number of connections a single IP can make.
  • Reverse Proxies: Use a reverse proxy like Nginx or Apache to handle incoming connections and mitigate the effects of such attacks.

Conclusion

Understanding and testing the resilience of your server against Slow Loris attacks is crucial for maintaining robust web security.

By following this hands-on guide, you've seen how to conduct a Slow Loris attack in a controlled environment.

Always remember to use such techniques ethically and with proper authorization.

For more technical insights and tutorials, visit rmauro.dev.

Additional Credits

{
  gkbrkslowloris,
  title = "Slowloris",
  author = "Gokberk Yaltirakli",
  journal = "github.com",
  year = "2015",
  url = "https://github.com/gkbrk/slowloris"
}

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