Many people have queries regarding the DDOS (DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE) ATTACK. In order to address your questions, we will discuss various aspects of the DDOS here. Some of the points include how it works, its history, and how to prevent these attacks. Let’s start with a brief introduction to DDOS.
What Is DDOS (Distributed Denial-Of-Service) Attack
A DoS attack is a deliberate attempt by hackers that minimizes or completely cripples the web traffic to a targeted website or a server. There are many ways to undertake a DoS attack. However, the most common way is DDoS (Distributed Denial-Of-Service) Attack. This kind of attack includes using a number of computers into flooding a website or a server with data to an extent that where the server will stop working. Long story short, the DDoS attack fill the server with a number of requests beyond its handling capacity so that it is no longer able to offer its services.
Why and Who Perform DDOS (Distributed Denial-Of-Service) Attack?
Coming towards another important aspect of the DDoS attacks; who perform these attacks? Well, answering these questions is a bit trickier. Most of the attackers do such attacks on a server in order to protest the policies of the organization to which the attackers don’t agree. Remember, this is not the only reason for such attacks. Some of the other reasons include pranks, a try for a ransom attack, or use such attacks as a distraction for more serious upcoming hacking attacks. Last but not the least, such attacks are done to check how secure or capable a server is.
The target of such attacks ranges widely. These attacks can be carried out against governments organization, economic or educational institutions to electronic companies and even gaming websites, etc. These attacks are numerous in numbers and their number is increasing steadily. The worth of these attacks for the attackers is very high, therefore, these attacks are not going to stop any time soon. But, the chances are these attacks may increase in the near future.
How DDOS (Distributed Denial-Of-Service) Attacks Work?
The method of such attacks is simple: mob a server/website with useless traffic to either shut down the website or at least make it very slow. However, the mechanism of these attacks is not this simple. Let’s explore some of the basic technical aspects of these attacks.
Some Internet Basics
Whenever you perform an action online, for example, send a message, play a favorite game or visit a website, your computer communicates with another server. This can’t be completed without a carrier such as WiFi. The speed at which a carrier can communicate data is known as bandwidth. Therefore, to perform your actions, you need to share this bandwidth with other users who are trying to perform the same operation. This means, only a specific number of users can access a server at a time.
What’s This Have to Do with DDoS Attacks?
A DDOS (DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE) attack is a type of cyber-attack in which hackers slow down or make it impossible to access a website. During this attack, hackers fill up the bandwidth of the website server. For this purpose, hackers need a lot of data. They use computers that are trying to access the server. Hackers have a well-coordinated group of friends around the globe, or they use a botnet.
A botnet is a large group of computers and internet-enabled gadgets connected via malware. Hackers use this network to launch spam attacks and also use it for DDOS (DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE) attacks.
One More Layer of Complexity
An intelligent hacker will never launch a botnet for an automatic attack. The best DDOS (DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE) attacks not only add an additional layer of complexity but also protect themselves. They trap other computers for their dirty work. These victim computers are called reflectors.
Reflectors receive a suspicious request from the zombie computers. Zombie computers are part of the botnet. This request will make reflectors respond back to the zombie. You get so many reflectors all connecting the same server at the same time, that is how a DDOS (DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE) attack happens.
There are two reasons to choose this method. Firstly, it is easy to trap a reflector by sending a request. Secondly, it offers an extra layer of protection between a hacker and the server. It also makes it impossible to trace the DDOS (DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE) attack.
The IoT Problem
In the recent past, DDOS (DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE) attacks were very difficult to launch. There were not many internet-connected devices available. But now, the world has changed a lot. With the development of technology, there are more online devices available. With a large number of devices available, there are more opportunities to launch DDOS (DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE) attacks.
Who is Targeted by DoS Attacks?
DDOS (DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE) attacks are never launched against an individual. They are launched against particular websites on a server. These attacks are different from other online attacks because there are no fiscal or functional advantages to attack random websites with a DDOS (DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE) attack. The only purpose of these attacks is to trace controversial data. So, you do not need to worry if you are not hosting any controversial data.
Other Kinds of DoS Attacks
Of course, there are many other ways than the DDoS to slow or block any website. Following is the list of some of these attacks:
- Teardrop attacks
- Banana attacks
- Smurf attacks
- PDoS (or Permanent Denial of Service) attacks
- Peer-to-peer attacks
- Ping floods
- Degradation-of-service attacks
- The Ping of Death
- Amplification attacks
There are many other examples as well.
The Final Words- Are DoS Attack Legal?
It is definitely a crime but not a serious one. If you launch a DDOS (DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE) attack on any organization, you may have to spend one year behind bars with a considerable fine. But if you have launched an attack on a government organization such as a police station, you may have to face many other charges. There a lot of people who are in favor of these attacks and demanding governments declare them legal. But if you are doing so in the UK and USA you will be in trouble.