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Uncovering the Dangers Of DDoS Attacks

By Tom Seest

What Is a DDoS Attack In Cybersecurity?

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DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are a serious security risk in cybersecurity. They can cause extensive disruption to operations at a company, leading to loss of business and reputation damage.
DDoS attacks are frequently sponsored by hackers, cybercriminals, or state-sponsored organizations. Some are tactical and part of a larger campaign; others have financial motives.

What Is a DDOS Attack In Cybersecurity?

What Is a DDOS Attack In Cybersecurity?

Uncovering the Dangers of a DDoS Attack

A distributed reflection denial-of-service attack, also referred to as DDoS or DoS attack, is a type of cyberattack that targets internet users’ computers. It involves flooding the target network with traffic in an effort to prevent it from functioning normally.
There are several main types of DDoS attacks, each with its own specific characteristics. While some are more hazardous than others, all can cause significant harm to your business and reputation.
DDoS attacks typically involve multiple network devices that have been compromised, commonly referred to as botnets. These bots may contain thousands of infected computers, such as workstations, routers, and switches, that generate large volumes of traffic that is used to bombard a victim’s network or server with various types of packets.
Another type of DDoS attack, burst or volumetric, leverages multiple sources to generate more traffic in a short amount of time. These attacks may be more challenging to defend against due to their ability to generate traffic from thousands of IP addresses that are difficult to distinguish from legitimate user traffic.
These attacks can be especially damaging if they persist for an extended period of time. For instance, a recent DDoS attack against AWS caused disruption for three days before it was finally mitigated.
DDoS attacks can be motivated by a variety of reasons, including business/economic and extortion. The latter has become increasingly popular with cybercriminals who use DDoS attacks as tools to extract money from online software companies.
Desperate organizations are now taking proactive measures to reduce their vulnerability to DDoS attacks. This includes applying mitigations on an attacker’s connection to the victim’s network. Doing so prevents the threat actor from altering targeted resources (devices, applications or networks), effectively defeating the attack.
DDoS attacks can have a wide range of business effects, from loss of customer trust to financial losses and legal actions. The specific effects of a DDoS attack will depend on its size and duration as well as the targeted organization’s characteristics.

Uncovering the Dangers of a DDoS Attack

Uncovering the Dangers of a DDoS Attack

What Types of DDoS Attacks Exist?

DDoS attacks can be used for a number of malicious purposes, such as stealing credit card information or disrupting business operations. They may also be motivated by revenge, blackmail, or hacktivism.
These types of attacks can be conducted by a single attacker or botnets with thousands of compromised devices and systems. No matter who is targeting, they consume an immense amount of network resources in order to create an attack that renders the system or service unresponsive.
Reflection allows threat actors to flood a target with spoofed UDP packets that appear like legitimate web requests. When the target does not accept these requests, it responds with an ICMP “Destination Unreachable” packet.
This type of attack is an excellent illustration of how reflection and amplification techniques can be combined to overwhelm a target at scale. Since spoofed traffic usually comes from multiple sources, it becomes much harder for defenses to sustain the attack at this level.
For instance, a single source attack may generate hundreds of gigabits per second (Gbps) of traffic, but when distributed across a botnet, the resulting attack could reach terabits per second.
Another example is a Layer 7 HTTP flood attack, which sends spoofed ping packets to a server from an abundance of IP addresses. If these packets arrive in too large numbers, the server can become overwhelmed and crash or even shut down altogether.
Volumetric DDoS attacks rely on botnets created by armies of malware-infected devices controlled by an attacker. These bots multiply bandwidth-intensive DDoS assaults and can significantly slow down or prevent access to victim resources such as online banking systems.
These DDoS attacks use botnets to amplify the attack and consume an enormous amount of network bandwidth, making it difficult for the victimized organization to detect. Furthermore, these attacks consume a great deal of CPU and memory resources, which may render the system unusable for some time.
These attacks are typically part of a wider campaign that targets other networks and services as well. For instance, a DDoS attack on an online bank could serve as a distraction for competitors; similarly, an ecommerce site might experience diverted customers to rivals within its sector.

What Types of DDoS Attacks Exist?

What Types of DDoS Attacks Exist?

How Can Web Servers Be Protected from DDoS Attacks?

Web servers are network devices that enable internet-based access to websites and services. Usually, they’re located in data centers.
A DDoS attack is designed to disrupt web traffic. It does this by employing techniques such as spoofing, reflection, and amplification in order to overburden the system with resources and send an influx of requests to servers unsuited for such high volumes of activity.
When servers become overwhelmed by an overwhelming volume of traffic, the underlying networks become overburdened and crash. This type of attack may be carried out by state-sponsored groups or gangs as a diversion for other attacks such as data breaches and theft or compromise of personal information.
Another popular method of DDoS attacks involves botnets. These are large networks of compromised computers, typically including workstations, laptops, routers, and other devices that are controlled by a central server and used to send malicious traffic toward an intended target.
Botnets are typically composed of compromised computers that have been infected with a trojan or malware. Malicious software often includes a zombie agent that serves as the attacker’s command center and facilitates DDoS attacks.
One popular example of this type of attack is Stacheldraht, a DDoS tool that enables attackers to send commands to up to 1,000 zombie agents that can collectively carry out an attack. This technique has become popular with botnets because it generates enough volumetric traffic to completely take down a target server.
In some instances, DDoS attacks are unintentional. They may take place when a website suddenly gains popularity and receives thousands of clicks in a short period of time.
No matter the size of your business or corporation, the potential impact of a DDoS attack on reputation and goodwill must be taken into account. After all, customers’ trust in you depends on it – and it may take some time to rebuild after an attack disrupts customer service.
Fortunately, there are a range of tools and services that can help protect against DDoS attacks. These include automated defenses, expert mitigation techniques, and zero-second SLAs (Service Level Agreements).

How Can Web Servers Be Protected from DDoS Attacks?

How Can Web Servers Be Protected from DDoS Attacks?

Can DDoS Attacks Target Applications?

A distributed reflection denial-of-service attack (DRDoS) is a type of cyberattack that conceals the threat actor behind a compromised computer or device. Hackers send multiple simultaneous requests to their chosen target, making these attacks more severe than simple DoS attacks since they aren’t limited to just one device and may spread across the Internet.
Attackers using compromised devices can direct traffic toward websites, servers, or applications they wish to target. DDoS attacks are commonly directed at web services used by businesses or organizations for connecting to the Internet.
As with all DDoS attacks, these can cause major disruption and financial losses for the targeted organization. Furthermore, these attacks cause extensive internet outages and disruption throughout its reach.
An attack can also cause a permanent loss of service for the affected business or organization, particularly damaging online retailers and financial services.
These types of DDoS attacks are typically initiated by an overabundance of network connections on the targeted system. This can occur if an application uses up all available incoming connections or when computing-intensive functions are exercised on it.
Overload-based DoS attacks use up all available resources on a targeted system, which can result in any level of disruption or slowdown up to complete shutdown. Furthermore, these can affect security measures by granting an attacker remote access to data or even theft of personal information.
This type of attack is uncommon but can be motivated by a variety of motives, such as wanting to create negative publicity for an organization with which the attacker has an issue or personal dislike. It’s difficult to predict whether or not an overload-based DDoS attack will succeed.
An attacker might attempt to leverage their compromised device to send SYN floods of packets through the TCP three-way handshake. They may use a botnet for this, causing hundreds of computers to make identical requests simultaneously.

Can DDoS Attacks Target Applications?

Can DDoS Attacks Target Applications?

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