What is a DDoS Attack?

What is a DDoS Attack?

DDoS is the acronym for distributed denial of service. It’s a malicious attack to make an online service unavailable to users. It’s typically accomplished by temporarily interrupting or suspending host services. While a denial of service (DoS) attack utilizes a single internet connected device, a DDoS attack is launched from multiple compromised devices.

Types of DDoS Attacks: Popular and Dangerous

DDoS attacks include volume based, protocol and application layer attacks. The goal of a volume based attack is to saturate the bandwidth. Protocol attacks consume server resources, and an application layer attack crashes the web server. There are a number of specific DDoS attacks that are both popular and dangerous, such as:

  • UDP Flood
  • Ping Flood
  • SYN Flood
  • Ping of Death
  • Slowloris
  • NTP Amplification
  • Zero-Day

The UDP flood attack leverages the User Datagram Protocol. It floods random ports on a host and saps the host’s resources. It can lead to inaccessibility of a site. The ping flood is similar to the UDP attack. It overwhelms the host with ICMP echo request ping packets and results in significant system slowdown. The SYN flood attack targets and exploits weaknesses in the TCP connection and can result in a denial of service. The ping of death attack sends multiple malicious pings to a computer, and the recipient ends up with a large IP packet. It’s this overflow memory that can result in a denial of service for legitimate packets. Slowloris is a highly-targeted attack. It enables one web server to take down another server. The targeted server maintains false connections and overflows the concurrent connection pool. As a result, clients are denied additional connections. The NTP amplification attack exploits public accessible network time protocol servers and devastates bandwidth. Zero-day attacks are new attacks, and there is no known patch to fix them.

DDoS Protection Solutions

Today, there are solutions to protect a site from volume based attacks, protocol attacks and application layer attacks. Volume based attacks can be avoided by absorbing them with a network of scrubbing centers that counter them. Protocol attacks can be mitigated by blocking bad traffic and by leveraging visitor identification technology. Application layer attacks can be prevented by blocking bad bots, CAPTCHAs, monitoring visitor behavior and a JS test. DDoS protection solutions can also identify new threats and apply remedies in real-time for protected websites through the aggregation of constantly update information across the network.

DDoS attacks are growing in both number and volume according to market research. In 2011, it was found that DDoS attacks actually double. In 2013, a survey revealed that there were 45 percent more DDoS attacks. And the average attack bandwidth was 148 percent higher than the previous year. Competitive feuds and financial reasons are often the ideology motivating these DDoS attacks.

For companies facing DDoS attacks, finding solutions that offer protection is critical to protecting user loyalty, reputation, productivity and revenue. In recent years, DDoS protection has become more difficult, as attacks have grown more sophisticated. And many companies lack the capital resources to scale their security programs to provide DDoS protection. Rocket Updates delivers a multi-layered defense to protect websites from the threat, scale and sophistication of DDoS attacks. It provides the protection needed to maintain web performance and availability.  If you’re seeking to ward off DDoS attacks, let the experts at Rocket Updates protect your site.  With Rocket Updates, you get it all. Give us a call today and effectively protect your site from DDoS attacks.

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