Akamai Diversity

The Akamai Blog

Akamai Response To "Forwarding-Loop" Issue

Akamai is aware of the research paper titled "Forwarding-Loop Attacks in Content Delivery Networks" published by Jianjun Chen et. al on Feb. 29.  We have reviewed the researchers' findings, and are confident that we already have adequate counter-measures in place to thwart any attempt to use Akamai as an attack vector in the manner described by the paper.

The paper describes four types of forwarding-loop attacks against CDNs: self-loop, intra-CDN loop, inter-CDN loop and dam flooding. The paper acknowledges that Akamai is not vulnerable to the first two. The third attack (the "inter-CDN loop attack") is described as a looping between multiple CDNs.  Finally, the fourth -- "dam flooding" -- is described as coupling "forwarding-loop attacks with timely controlled HTTP responses to significantly increase damage."

While Akamai does not publically disclose or discuss our security countermeasures, we would like to reiterate that we have sufficient countermeasures in place to detect and defend against all these attacks, as well as substantial capacity to absorb traffic spikes. If you have any additional questions/concerns, please reach out to your Akamai representative.