The High Orbit Ion Cannon (HOIC) is a tool that could aid an unauthenticated, remote attacker in conducting distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
The HOIC is a popular DDoS attack tool that is free to download and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. The HOIC is an upgrade to an older program, the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC), documented in IntelliShield Alert 22057
, which is an open-source tool that is written in the C# programming language. Reports indicate the LOIC is a favored tool of Anonymous and other hacking groups, which is an indication that these attack groups are also using the HOIC.
An unauthenticated, remote attacker using the HOIC could send traffic to a targeted URL in an attempt to overload the targeted website, resulting in a denial of service condition. In addition, the HOIC can target up to 256 web addresses simultaneously, making this tool a powerful resource for hackers who are attempting to conduct DDoS attacks.
Administrators are advised to implement an intrusion prevention system (IPS) or intrusion detection system (IDS) to help detect and prevent DDoS attacks.
Administrators can help protect affected systems from external attacks by using a solid firewall strategy.