A denial-of-service, or DoS, is a digital assault that involves deliberately overwhelming a computer system or a network to render it inoperable.
Attackers do this by giving the target more significant traffic than it can process, which ultimately results in the target failing and rendering it unable to offer service to its typical consumers.
Email, online banking, webpages, and any other service that depends on the network or machine being targeted are some examples of services that might be considered targets.
There are several varieties of denial of service attacks, the most common of which are resource depletion and flood assaults.
Attacks that exhaust a resource make the infrastructure they target utilize all of the memory and storage resources available to them, slowing down the service or causing it to halt entirely.
Attacks that use flooding transmit an overwhelming volume of packets, which causes the server’s capacity to be exceeded.
A sort of denial-of-service assault known as a distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, is one in which the traffic utilized to overload the target originates from many different sources all over the place.
Because of this strategy, you cannot thwart the assault by just stopping the flow of traffic that is causing it.
Common targets of distributed denial of service attacks are:
- Web stores available over the internet
- Online casinos
- Any company or group whose success is dependent on the delivery of internet services
Types of DoS Attacks
There are multiple ways to start a denial of service attack. However, the following are examples of common flood attacks:
Attacks Using a Buffer Overflow
The idea is to transmit more data to a network than the developers have constructed the system to be able to process at one time.
In addition, the attacks described below also encompass those meant to take advantage of vulnerabilities unique to particular applications or infrastructures.
This attack takes advantage of network devices that have been improperly set up by delivering faked packets that probe every machine on the specific server rather than just a single machine in particular.
After that, the network is prompted to ramp up the traffic volume.
Commonly named the “ping of death” or the “smurf attack.”
The attacker attempts to join a server by sending a request, but they do not finish the handshake.
This process will continue till all open ports have been flooded with connection requests to the point that none are accessible for genuine people to access.
A DDoS happens when numerous systems collaborate to launch a coordinated DoS assault on a target.
The most crucial distinction is that the victim is simultaneously assaulted from several other sites rather than being targeted from a single area.
The dispersion of hosts that constitutes a DDoS confers several benefits on the attacker, including the following:
They can perform a significantly damaging assault by using more machines at their disposal.
Caused by random dispersion of attacking systems, which are often located all over the globe, it is impossible to pinpoint the precise site of the assault.
It takes more work to power down numerous computers at once than just one.
The real attackers are likely hiding behind many systems, most of which have been breached, making it extremely challenging to identify them.
Significant DoS Attacks
The first recorded denial of service attack was against the United Airlines website in 1996. This attack was made by a group of hackers called the Cult of the Dead Cow (CoDCow). The CoDCow used a botnet consisting of approximately 1,000 computers to hamper United Airlines’ ability to handle online traffic.
Another significant DoS attack occurred in 2003 when an individual with the username “Chris” launched an attack on a company called JIRA Software Inc. Chris’s website was viewed as a competitor to JIRA Software, so he launched a DoS attack that disabled many users’ access to JIRA Software. Other large companies such as Amazon.com, Bloomberg L.L.C., eBay Inc., PayPal Inc., and Yahoo! Inc were also all victims of these large-scale DoS attacks.
How To Tell If Your Computer is Experiencing a DoS Attack
- Slowing of computer – Your computer may be unable to function when you are a victim of a DoS attack since these attacks are designed to overflow your computers resources
- Multiple e-mails – Receiving a huge number of sudden spam emails can be a sign of a DoS attack
- Slow servers – If you are hosting a website or business, you may see a huge uptick in traffic and also a slowing of servers
How To Protect Your Computer From a DoS Attack
Here are some methods you can use to protect yourself from DoS attacks:
- Stay up to date on new trends in cyberattacks – Since there are so many different kinds of DoS attacks, staying up to date on the latest attack methods is important. If you’re not careful, you might fall victim to an attack that hasn’t been seen yet.
- Install updated antivirus software – Some antivirus programs may be able to prevent DoS attacks from downing your computer or flooding your e-mail inbox.
- Use a VPN service – A virtual private network (VPN) can hide your IP and may be able to protect your actual network from being seen by attackers.