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What is the “storage saturation”?

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Overview

This article will explain the ACSIA alert called "storage saturation".


Explaining the storage saturation

"Storage saturation", in the context of cybersecurity, refers to a type of attack where an attacker attempts to fill up or consume all available storage space on a system or a network device. By overwhelming the storage capacity, the attacker aims to disrupt normal operations, cause service outages, or render the system inoperable, affecting its functionality and potentially causing data loss.

Example of a "storage saturation" attack:

Let's consider a medium-sized company with a central file server that stores critical data and files used by employees. The server has a limited amount of storage space available to accommodate all the company's data.

An attacker outside the company's network decides to launch a "storage saturation" attack to disrupt the company's operations. The attacker identifies a vulnerability in the server's file-sharing service that allows them to upload files without proper authorization.

To execute the attack, the attacker creates a large number of massive files, far beyond what the server's storage capacity can handle. They, then, initiate a bulk upload of these files to the company's file server.

As the files are being uploaded, the server starts running out of available storage space rapidly. The legitimate data stored on the server is pushed to the limits, and the server's performance begins to degrade.

As more and more files are uploaded, the storage capacity reaches its limit, and the server can no longer store any additional data, including important files used by the company's employees.

As a result, the server becomes unresponsive, and employees can no longer access their files or perform necessary tasks that rely on the server's data. The company's operations grind to a halt, causing significant disruption to their productivity and potentially resulting in financial losses.

In this example, the "storage saturation" attack demonstrates how an attacker can use excessive data uploads to overwhelm a server's storage capacity, causing service disruptions and operational issues for the targeted organization. 

ACSIA alerts you when a storage saturation attack is being performed on your infrastructure.

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