What Is DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) Attack?
A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attack that attempts to make an online service or network unavailable by flooding it with traffic from multiple sources. The goal of the attack is to overwhelm the target’s resources, making it unable to respond to legitimate requests. DDoS attacks can be used for both financial gain and political motives, and are becoming increasingly common as attackers become more sophisticated.
The Differences of DDoS VS DoS
1. Scale and Source of the Attack
A DoS attack typically involves a single source that floods the target server with a large volume of traffic. DDoS attack involves multiple sources (often a botnet of compromised devices) that coordinate to flood the target server with traffic. DDoS attacks are typically more difficult to mitigate because they involve multiple sources.
2. Complexity and Sophistication
DDoS attacks are generally more complex and sophisticated than DoS attacks. DDoS attacks often use advanced techniques such as traffic amplification and reflection to increase the volume of traffic sent to the target, while DoS attacks are often simpler and involve flooding the target with a large number of requests.
3. Impact and Consequences
DDoS attacks are generally more severe in their impact and consequences than DoS attacks. DDoS attacks can cause long-term service disruptions or even permanent downtime, resulting in significant financial losses and reputational damage for the targeted organization.
4. Legal and Regulatory Consequences
Because DDoS attacks involve multiple sources, they can be more difficult to trace and prosecute than DoS attacks. However, both types of attacks are illegal and can result in severe legal and regulatory consequences for the attacker.
How Does DDoS Attack Works?
DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are a type of cyber attack that attempt to make a website or online service unavailable to its users by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. The following are how DDoS attack works.
The attackers create a network of compromised computers, called a botnet, by infecting a large number of computers with malware. These infected computers, also called zombies or bots, can be controlled remotely by the attacker to perform coordinated attacks.
The attacker then instructs the botnet to send a large volume of requests to the targeted website or online service. This flood of requests, which can be in the form of HTTP requests, DNS requests, or any other type of network traffic, is designed to consume the target’s server resources and bandwidth.
The attacker may also use amplification techniques, such as DNS reflection or NTP amplification, to increase the volume of traffic sent to the target. This can amplify the attack’s impact and make it more challenging to mitigate.
As the volume of traffic increases, the target’s server resources become overwhelmed, leading to service disruption or even complete service outage. This can result in the website or online service becoming inaccessible to legitimate users.
Damage and Consequences
DDoS attacks can cause significant damage to businesses, resulting in financial losses, reputational damage, and potential legal liabilities. Additionally, if the attack is not mitigated promptly, it can lead to long-term service disruptions or even permanent downtime.
What Are The Examples of DDoS Attack That You Should Be Aware?
DDoS attacks can take many forms, but they all share the common goal of overwhelming a target server with a large volume of traffic from multiple sources. Understanding the types of DDoS attacks and implementing effective mitigation strategies is essential to maintaining the availability and reliability of online services. The following are the examples of DDoS attack that you should take note.
SYN Flood is a type of DDoS attack exploits a vulnerability in the TCP/IP protocol used by the internet. The attacker floods the target server with a large number of TCP connection requests (SYN packets) that are never completed, tying up the server’s resources and preventing it from responding to legitimate requests.
In this type of DDoS attack, the attacker uses a botnet to flood a DNS server with requests for information. This is often using spoofed IP addresses to hide the source of the attack. The DNS server then responds to these requests with much larger responses than the original requests, amplifying the volume of traffic sent to the target.
This type of DDoS attack targets web servers by overwhelming them with a large number of HTTP requests, often using fake user agents and referring URLs to mimic legitimate traffic. This can cause the server to slow down or become unresponsive, resulting in service disruption or outage.
In this type of DDoS attack, the attacker floods the target server with a large number of UDP (User Datagram Protocol) packets, which are used for high-speed data transfer. This can cause the server to become overwhelmed and unresponsive, resulting in service disruption or outage.
IoT (Internet of Things) devices such as smart thermostats and security cameras can be compromised by malware and used to create a botnet that can launch DDoS attacks. In 2016, the Mirai botnet used IoT devices to launch a massive DDoS attack that disrupted internet services for millions of users.
In summary, DDoS attacks work by creating a botnet of compromised computers, coordinating them to send a large volume of traffic to a targeted website or online service, and overwhelming its server resources to cause service disruption or outage. These attacks can have severe consequences for the targeted organization, making DDoS mitigation an essential aspect of cybersecurity.
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