Published on: November 1st, 2022
Of the many types of cyberattacks that exist and have developed over the years, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is one of the most commonly seen. Used by hackers to create chaos within an organization’s website, understanding this attack and how to spot it can save both time and money.
What is a Distributed Denial of Service Attack?
A DDoS attack is a type of cybercrime in which a hacker floods a website with so much Internet traffic that legitimate users cannot access the site. This is done by exploiting multiple compromised devices that act as the launching point for malicious traffic. After being infected by malware planted by a hacker, the devices are then controlled remotely by the hacker.
Once the hacker has control of all these devices, known collectively as a botnet, they will launch an attack on a target server by sending instructions to each bot. These bots then, in turn, send requests to the IP address of the target service, overwhelm it with these requests, and cause a “denial-of-service” for any more traffic.
With legitimate traffic not able to access the server, business cannot be conducted normally and may suffer. Hackers may demand ransom in return for stopping the DDoS attack, or they may have been hired illegally to perform the attack on behalf of someone else. Learning how to spot a DDoS attack can help you stop it in its tracks before it overloads a web server.
Common Signs of a DDoS Attack
The easiest way to think of a DDoS attack is to picture a freeway slowly building with traffic. Normally, traffic should flow smoothly and never back up except for rare instances. When a successful DDoS attack occurs, however, the freeway becomes bumper-to-bumper traffic that doesn’t allow more cars to enter.
As evident, separating legitimate website traffic from illegitimate traffic is an extremely challenging task. That’s why spotting a DDoS attack in the early stages is so crucial. Here are some common signs:
- Unusually large amounts of traffic originating from the same source IP address
- Similar behavioral profiles from large amounts of traffic (device type, location, etc.)
- Large number of users targeting a singular point on a web server, such as a single landing page on a website
- A lack of ability to connect to the Internet or website inaccessibility
While there are many types of DDoS attacks, there are a few proactive steps you can take to protect your organization including implementing a robust firewall and antivirus software to keep your server covered. You might also consider investing in a VPN that can be used to hide your server’s IP address, halting a DDoS attack before it can begin.
DDoS Protection for Your Organization
A distributed denial-of-service attack is only one of many common cyberattacks that you may encounter. Learning the ins and outs of this type of cybercrime and others is one of the best ways to protect your organization. That said, sometimes identifying what is occurring can be too big a challenge. That’s why our certified professionals are here to help get your organization back up and running.
Computer Troubleshooters is the go-to team of cybersecurity experts in your area. Find an office near you to begin identifying vulnerabilities and developing a DDoS mitigation plan today.