What is a DDoS attack and what does it mean to be DDosed?
You may have heard of hackers destroying websites in a DDoS attack. During a DDos warning, users will see a server error message every time they try to access the website or service.
Businesses that experience DDoSed suffer damages in the thousands of dollars. The more hackers keep their sites down, the more money victims lose.
So what is a DDoS attack? What is the actual definition of a DDoS attack?
What is a DDoS attack?
A DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service is a type of cyber attack that targets web servers, databases, and other online services. This is done by flooding or flooding a system with too much web traffic.
The overwhelming traffic can be an excessive number of incoming messages, multiple requests for data, or a high volume of requests. The goal is to overwhelm the system so that it crashes, rendering it inoperative or inaccessible to legitimate users. This is the “denial of service” to which the term refers.
Attackers often use an army of “zombie computers” called botnets. It is a network of compromised devices that are controlled remotely by hackers.
Botnets are controlled by a command and control server (C2). They can lie dormant while attackers wait for the perfect time to strike.
The hackers will give orders to a C2 server which will then send instructions to the compromised devices. The latter will send bogus traffic in the form of overwhelming connection requests or too much data that is beyond what a server can handle.
Why get DDoSed?
The motivation behind an attack could be revenge from a disgruntled employee with a chopping ax, or from a rival company seeking to defeat its competition. It can also be done by terrorists and other groups who want to make a statement or cybercriminals who may want to create a distraction for another bigger and more sinister attack.
However, some do so for direct financial gain. They could extort companies by blackmailing them. They will attack and then demand payment in bitcoins.
Businesses can give in to this demand because they risk losing a lot of money for every minute their site goes down. Attackers did this to e-commerce sites during critical times like around Christmas.