The Distributed Denial of Service attack (or DDoS) is universally feared in the digital side of business because of how quickly it can turn revenues upside down. This might not have been too big a deal several years back, but with so many businesses relying on the Internet to make sure that they get the exposure they need online, DDoS attacks have increased in popularity and use – which does not bode well for anyone looking to expand their businesses online.
Fortunately, DDoS attacks are nowhere near foolproof. Understanding what one can do to prevent or mitigate an attack is well and good, but just as important is learning all about the most common types of denial of service attacks that hackers tend to use. After all as the saying often goes; know the enemy and the battle is almost won.
The Ping of Death
A hacker makes use of this method by sending pings with malicious code to a computer or server. Normally, the byte allowance of any packet is at 65,535 bytes. Fragments of these malicious pings are sent to computers where they are able to assemble once again and overwhelm the IP. This used to be far more prominent during the earlier years of the Internet, but most modern firewalls are more than capable of dealing with this method.
The UDP Flood
One of the most common types of DDoS attacks out there, hackers utilize this method by flooding many different ports with User Datagram Protocol packets. This sessionless networking protocol request “forces” the host to search for an application that happens to be listening in on that particular port. The result is a reply packet in which no application was found. When enough of these UDP packets are sent, it ends up eating resources and flooding the server which eventually force a shutdown.
The Ping Flood
Another very common type utilized by hackers, the ping flood has a very similar process to the UDP flood. However, this is normally done by sending requests (ping packets) one after the other, no longer waiting for any replies from the host. Just like the UDP flood it eats up resources and can cause a very significant amount of slow down, but it will take a very large number of requests to cause a system to shutdown completely.
The Reflected Attack
A DDoS attack is all about completely bogging the server down with requests until denial of service becomes the only option. Hackers who use the reflected attack send out malicious packets that force the host to reply, but it will be a forged address (the same location). With enough computers a hacker can bring an entire server down utilizing this method. The worst part is that it takes minimal effort to cause a computer or server to seize up because it ends up doing it to itself.
Many hackers all around the world continue to devise new ways to perform DDoS attacks by exploiting vulnerabilities in the everyday server. While these Zero-Day attacks are still at large, learning all about the most common types of DDoS attacks will still save you and your business a lot of stress from the common hacker.
What do you do?
For those who truly want a reliable firewall that protects against any and all would be malicious invader, a good website security platform is needed to safeguard your online business. For instance, Fireblade provides a DDoS Protection service which helps immensely in monitoring, protecting and preventing all kinds of website security threats. In the long run, prevention against DDoS attacks (or anything similar) will always be better than mitigation and employing this service goes a long way.