In this era where cyber crime is as common as getting a text message, it is essential the we are aware of all the ways in which we can be a recipient of an internet attack. One of those internet attacks is a DDoS attack. By the time you are done reading this article you’ll be a DDoS fighting superhero.
DDoS is short for Distributed Denial of Service. DDoS is a type of DOS attack where multiple compromised systems, which are often infected with a Trojan, are used to target a single system causing a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. Victims of a DDoS attack consist of both the end targeted system and all systems maliciously used and controlled by the hacker in the distributed attack.
” In computing, a denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) is a cyber-attack where the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to the Internet. Denial of service is typically accomplished by flooding the targeted machine or resource with superfluous requests in an attempt to overload systems and prevent some or all legitimate requests from being fulfilled.
In a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack), the incoming traffic flooding the victim originates from many different sources. This effectively makes it impossible to stop the attack simply by blocking a single source.
A DoS or DDoS attack is analogous to a group of people crowding the entry door or gate to a shop or business, and not letting legitimate parties enter into the shop or business, disrupting normal operations.
The distinction between DoS and DDoS
A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is different from a DDoS attack. The DoS attack typically uses one computer and one Internet connection to flood a targeted system or resource. The DDoS attack uses multiple computers and Internet connections to flood the targeted resource. DDoS attacks are often global attacks, distributed via botnets.
How exactly does DDoS attacks function?
In a DDoS attack, the incoming traffic flooding the victim originates from many different sources – potentially hundreds of thousands or more. This effectively makes it impossible to stop the attack simply by blocking a single IP address; plus, it is very difficult to distinguish legitimate user traffic from attack traffic when spread across so many points of origin.
What are the different types of DDoS attacks?
#1 TCP Connection Attacks – Occupying connections
These attempt to use up all the available connections to infrastructure devices such as load-balancers, firewalls and application servers. Even devices capable of maintaining state on millions of connections can be taken down by these attacks.
#2 Volumetric Attacks – Using up bandwidth
These attempt to consume the bandwidth either within the target network/service, or between the target network/service and the rest of the Internet. These attacks are simply about causing congestion.
#3 Fragmentation Attacks – Pieces of packets
These send a flood of TCP or UDP fragments to a victim, overwhelming the victim’s ability to re-assemble the streams and severely reducing performance.
#4 Application Attacks – Targeting applications
These attempt to overwhelm a specific aspect of an application or service and can be effective even with very few attacking machines generating a low traffic rate (making them difficult to detect and mitigate).
#5 DNS Reflection – Small request, big reply
By forging a victim’s IP address, an attacker can send small requests to a DNS server and ask it to send the victim a large reply. This allows the attacker to have every request from its botnet amplified as much as 70x in size, making it much easier to overwhelm the target.
#6 Chargen Reflection – Steady streams of text
Most computers and internet connected printers support an outdated testing service called Chargen, which allows someone to ask a device to reply with a stream of random characters. Chargen can be used as a means for amplifying attacks similar to DNS attacks above.
Tips to stop a DDoS attack:
Identify a DDoS Attack Early
Defend at Network Perimeter (if You Run Your Own Web Server)
Call Your ISP or Hosting Provider
Call a DDoS Specialist (if worst comes to worst)
Create a DDoS Playbook
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