Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is a cyber attack. A hacker overwhelms a server with web traffic to prevent people from accessing integrated internet services and websites.

DDoS attack motivating factors vary greatly, as do the kinds of organizations and individuals keen to carry out this cyber attack. Some cyber attacks are carried out by disgruntled people and malicious hackers who would like to knock down a company’s network to make a point and laugh by exploiting cyber vulnerabilities or conveying condemnation. Other DDoS attacks are driven by money, including a competing product disrupting or closing down another company’s online process to conceal business. While sometimes, the reason is extortion. In this case, perpetrators abuse an organization, configure hostageware or spyware on their data centers and then compel them to spend a large amount of money on repairing the damage.

Today, DDoS attacks are on the upswing, including some of the world’s largest companies are vulnerable to becoming DDoS’ed. In fact, in the February of 2020, the world’s most significant attack in history took place against none other than AWS (Amazon Web Services), surpassing a previous strike on GitHub that happened in 2018. The consequences of DDoS include a decrease in regular traffic, lost business, and reputational harm.

The range of phones connected to the network will increase as the Internet of Things (IoT) expands, as will the percentage of remote workers. Every IoT device’s reliability may not sustain; abandoning the system with which it is linked is open to attack. As a result, DDoS security and prevention are critical.

How Does a DDoS Attack Work?

A DDoS attack attempts to overpower the intentional user’s devices, services, and network with fake web traffic, deeming them unreachable or utterly worthless to authenticated traffic.

How to Identify a DDoS Attack?

The most challenging aspect of detecting a DDoS attack would be that the signs are not surprising. Most other symptoms are familiar to internet users, such as slow download and upload rate, the site becoming unreachable to view, a lost internet service, unexpected content, media, or an overabundance of junk.

Furthermore, a DDoS attack could last between a few hours to several months, depending on the severity of the attack.

What is the Difference Between DoS and DDoS Attacks?

A DDoS attack is a subset of the broader DoS (Denial of Service) attack. In a DoS attack, the hacker utilizes specific internet access to flood a victim with bogus queries or to attempt to exploit a cyber security flaw. DDoS is on a broader scale. It includes the goals of utilizing 1000s (if not millions) of devices connected. DDoS is much more challenging to combat due to the high amount of devices used.

What is a Botnet?

Botnets are the most common method of DDoS attack. The hacker will gain access to the devices and configure a bot, a nasty piece of code or spyware. The contaminated devices join together to create a network known as a botnet. After that, the hacker directs the bots to flood the target’s data centers and machines with illegitimate requests.

Types of a DDoS Attack

Various attacks target distinct components of an intranet and are categorized depending on the network connection layers that they attack. As per the OSI model, internet access is made up of seven distinct layers. The model enables various computer devices to communicate with one another.

Here are the types of DDoS attacks you should know about:

Volume Based Attack

This type of intrusion aims to maintain control of all network capacity between both the target and the internet. A volumetric attack is one instance of DNS (Domain Name System) enhancement. The hacker hijacks the victim’s address and then submits a DNS name search requirement with the fake website address to an accessible DNS server. Once the DNS server transmits the DNS record response, it will be sent to the fraudulent website instead, likely to result in the victim receiving an amplitude of the hacker’s initial request.

Application Layer Attack

This type of attack aims to deplete or overpower the victim’s resources. Therefore, it is difficult to identify as evil. It is known as a Layer 7 DDoS attack, where websites are produced by responding to HTTP requests. To create a web page, a server executes queries. In this sort of attack, the hacker influences the target’s data center to manage more than it usually would. An HTTP massive influx is a form of application-layer attack related to continuously resetting an internet browser on multiple devices at the same time. Consequently, an overwhelming amount of HTTP requests overpowers the server and result in a DDoS attack.

Protocol Attack

Protocol attacks devour all internet and web server space and other assets like firewalls. They exploit flaws in the OSI model stack’s Layers 3 and 4 to yield the destination unreachable. An excellent example of a protocol attack is an SYN flood. The hacker sends a considerable proportion of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) handshake queries to the target using fake website source IP addresses. The directed server tries to give a response to each network connection, but the last handshake never happens, causing the target to become overwhelmed.

How to Prevent DDoS Attack?

Here is a quick rundown of steps to prevent DDoS attacks from happening.

  1. Come up with a DDoS mitigation policy
  2. Perform a risk analysis to identify vulnerabilities
  3. Prep the security team to understand the difference between actual traffic and illegitimate DDoS attack traffic
  4. Create a black hole to push out the illegitimate traffic
  5. Do not just focus on securing your computers but also take the necessary steps to secure your phone.
  6. Limit the number of respects per server
  7. Use firewalls to protect the devices from DDoS attacks
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