DDoS attack

DDoS attack: How dangerous is it?

DDoS attack explained

DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service attack) is a cyber threat that utilizes the capacity limits related to each of the network resources. Therefore, its main purpose is to disrupt critical targets, for instance, a system, or a network, or even a server. The DDoS attack sends a large number of requests to the targeted web resource. The aim is to overload the capacity of the website entirely. As a result, the target is not able to handle all of the requests, and the website could not function for regular users.

Usually, the targets of DDoS attacks are websites for online shopping or different types of organizations that offer online services.

How does it work?

Network resources, for instance, web servers, are able to handle a certain amount of requests, and that is their limit. Furthermore, the channel connecting the server to the Internet is further restricted by bandwidth/capacity. Then, if the number of requests is higher than the potential limits of a component of the infrastructure, the service is going to experience:

  • Much more delayed answers to requests rather than usual.
  • Some of the regular user requests, or yet all of them, can be neglected.

The criminals’ primary intention is to entirely disturb the web resource’s regular function and complete ‘denial of service.’ 

Types of DDoS attack

DDoS attacks could be classified into three types:

  1. Application-layer attacks – They flood applications with fraudulent requests.
  2. Volume-based attacks – They send a huge number of malicious traffic to flood a device, website, or server. For instance, there are ICMP, UDP, and spoofed-packet flood attacks. 
  3. Network-layer or protocol DDoS attacks – They send massive quantities of packets to their target network infrastructures and tools. Recognized protocol attacks are SYN floods and Smurf DDoS.

The goal is always the same for all types of attacks. That is every time to make sluggish and unresponsive the resources of the target.

DoS vs DDoS attack

These attacks have some very important differences. Let’s begin with a significant one between DoS vs. DDoS attacks. 

When we speak about DoS, the attack is initiated from one infected system to a target. This indicates the attack could be very aggressive, yet the victim is still able to have more protection chances. That is because the action is one-to-one. 

DDoS runs the attack applying many infected traffic sources from more than a single location. That is the reason why it is a lot harder to stop it. 

It is not so hard to track from where the DoS attack is coming from currently. However, the resources and time needed to track the various different sources of a DDoS attack are way more challenging. In addition, if you succeed and stop some of them, many others are still going to attack at the same time. 

DDoS attack shuts down targets a lot faster than DoS attack. Attacking from multiple sources at the same time demands strong resources of the system. The defense is getting weak and eventually shuts down. DoS takes long to get to that point.

Both attacks use traffic to overwhelm their target. However, the DDoS attack is considered way more dangerous.

The truth behind DDoS protected DNS service