What is a DDoS attack?

Written by:
Hyve
Date Posted:
7 March 2016
Category:
Security

Websites and applications are increasingly at risk due to the rise of Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks.

What is a DDoS attack?
A Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attack is an attempt to make an online service, website or application unavailable by overloading it with web traffic from multiple source IPs.

What will happen if my services have a DDoS attack?
Cyber criminals who impose DDoS attacks are primarily trying to take down your services for a number of reasons. Depending on the size of the attack the effects can vary from:

  • Slow network performance
  • Denial of access to the website or application
  • Increase in spam emails received
  • Overwhelmed resources of the target server – RAM and CPU

Why do DDoS attacks happen?
There are number of cyber criminals and terrorist groups trolling the world wide web for vulnerable websites. Often these groups will target a specific website for a period of time in order to hold them at ransom. It is likely that a ransom email is sent to the owner demanding a ransom payment (usually in BitCoins) to make the attack go away.

Who are these cyber criminals?
It is hard to determine or identify a cyber criminal as they could be anywhere in the world at any point in time. They use multiple IPs to conduct an attack, therefore hard to pinpoint where the attack is coming from.

Who do cyber criminals target?
This can be anyone who hosts on the web. However in our experience we often see critical website or applications being targeted, as this holds more value to the owner.
Ecommerce, educational, financial, gambling, government and political websites are prone to attacks due to the nature of the site.

How to prevent a DDoS attack
Be prepared! Ensure that your web host has suitable DDoS protection. The size of DDoS attacks are rising, and we are seeing more common attacks of 20-30Gbps+, which is debilitating for a small business.

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