Unlike other types of cyberattacks, a DDoS attack does not attempt to breach your security area. Instead of a single source of the attack, DDoS attacks tend to target the network infrastructure to saturate it with an enormous volume of data. A DDoS attack affects several connected online devices also known as botnets that are used to flood the target website with fake traffic.
DDoS attackers use botnets, i.e. Groups of hijacked devices connected to the Internet, to carry out large-scale attacks. Generally, a denial-of-service attack is launched using homemade scripts and DoS tools such as Low Orbit Ion Canon, but DDoS attacks can also be launched from a botnet, a large cluster of connected devices such as smartphones, computers and routers infected with malware that allow remote control by the attacker.
Attackers exploit security vulnerabilities and device weaknesses to control numerous devices with command and control software. Once in control, the attacker orders the botnet (a group of hijacked devices connected to the Internet) to perform DDoS against the target.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks occur when multiple systems orchestrate a coordinated DoS attack on a single target. The main difference is that instead of attacking a place on a target, you can attack many places at once.
Over the years, denial-of-service attacks have developed involving a number of attack vectors and mechanisms. While some DoS attacks are carried out in a similar way today, the majority of today’s DoD attacks affect any number of systems, with hundreds or thousands of attackers controlling the targets. Modern security technologies have developed mechanisms to defend themselves against most forms of DoS attacks but because of the unique characteristics of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks they are seen as a higher threat with high concern for organizations that fear being the target of such an attack.
Since the early years, DDoS attacks have been used as a weapon of choice for hackers, for-profit cybercriminals and nation-states, but also for computer whiz- who want grand gestures. They can be as simple as mischief, revenge, or hacktivism, ranging from minor annoyances to long-term downtime that leads to business losses.
The world’s largest DDoS attack in 2018 was an attack on GitHub, a software development platform that is a subsidiary of Microsoft. In February 2018 hackers had GitHub a DDOS attack of 1.35 Terabytes of data per second attacked. It was a massive attack and it is doubtful that it will be the last of its kind.
On February 28, the version control service GitHub was hit by a massive DNS attack that hit the site with traffic up to 1.35 TB per second. GitHub was beaten offline and managed to defeat the attack in less than 20 minutes, but the sheer scale of the attack worried some, as it surpassed the Dyn attack, which peaked at 1.2TB per second. In 2016 Dyn, a major provider of domain name systems (DNS) was struck by a massive DDoS attack that crippled major websites and services, including CNN, Netflix, PayPal, Spotify, Visa, Amazon, The New York Times, Reddit and GitHub.
The DYN attack peaked at 1.2 TB per second and was the product of the Mirai botnet, which required malware to infest thousands of IoT devices in a massive denial of service attack by exploiting servers running Memcached, an in-memory cache system that returns large amounts of data in response to simple requests.
In this type of attack, large amounts of data from multiple sources are sent to a service or website to overwhelm it. It uses specific capacity limits that apply to network resources, such as the infrastructure made possible by a company’s website. The huge influx of traffic binds up the website’s resources and denies access to legitimate users.
A DDoS ( Distributed Denial of Service) is a malicious network attack in which hackers force multiple Internet-connected devices to send network communication requests to a specific service or website in order to overwhelm it with false traffic requests. Flooding a target system with incoming messages, connection requests and malformed packets can force it to slow down, crash, shut down and deny service legitimate users and systems. The effect is to bind all available resources to handle the requests, crash the web server, and distract it so that normal users cannot connect to their systems from the server.
Performing a DDoS attack is akin to a group of people occupying the front door of a store, making it more difficult for legitimate customers to enter the store and disrupt trade. In certain situations such as poor encoding, missing patches or an unstable system, a legitimate but uncoordinated request may look like a DDOS attack because it is a random error in system performance. There are many types of threat actors that can carry out DDoS attacks, from individual criminals and hackers to organized crime networks and government agencies.
Denial-of-Service attacks are characterized by an explicit attempt by the attacker to prevent the legitimate use of a service. Criminal perpetrators of DoS attacks typically target websites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks, credit card payment portals, etc.
Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks occur when legitimate users are unable to access information, systems, devices or other network resources due to actions by malicious cyber threat actors. Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks can occur when multiple systems overwhelm the bandwidth resources of a target system, usually one or more web servers.
The state of denial of service is achieved by flooding the affected computer or network with traffic that the network cannot respond to without crashing and denying access to legitimate users. Affected services include emails, websites, online accounts, banking and other services that rely on the network.
In distributed DDOS attacks (denial-of-service attacks), the traffic that floods the victim comes from many different sources. This makes it impossible to stop the attack if it is blocked by a single source. Regardless of the protocol, its goal is to overwhelm tablespace, core networks, firewalls, and load balancers with requests to the target.