What is a DDoS attack?
It is Black Friday, Christmas, or Easter, and you are expecting to sell thousands of products on your e-commerce site. You check the site and, what do you see? It is down! It does not load, and all those potential clients can’t spend their money there. They will go elsewhere, and just because a DDoS attack completely brought down your site.
You should have been prepared!
What is a DDoS attack?
DDoS – Denial of service. The DDoS attack has a variety of forms, but they all are a deliberate attempt to harm the target computer/server, usually with massive traffic towards the targeted. The cybercriminals are most commonly creating a botnet, a group of infected devices, long before the attack. They build this network and keep it on standby until they are hired to target a specific site.
Different DDoS attacks
There are 3 categories, the typical volume-based attacks, the protocol type attacks, and the application layer attacks. Let’s check an example of each type of DDoS attack.
Teardrop attack (volume-based)
The hackers are preparing corrupted packets. They exploit a bug that exists in the TCP/IP fragmentation re-assembly. The packets reach the targeted server, but the server can’t understand them. Finally, the server can’t take it anymore and goes down.
ICMP Flood, a.k.a Ping Flood (protocol-based)
First, there is malware that infects many devices all around the world. They become a part of the hackers’ botnet. When the criminals want to use those bots, they can redirect the traffic to the selected server (the target). Each of the bots starts to ping the target (send packets of data) continuously without carrying about the answers. The server gets overwhelmed by the traffic and can’t react to its usual traffic.
Slowloris (application layer attack)
Just a single computer could bring down a server. You can’t believe it? In this DDoS attack, the attacker uses one device to open as many connections as possible. The trick is that the cybercriminal keeps them open for as long as possible. It does that with incomplete HTTP requests. This attack’s final goal is to open many connections and not leave any possibility for regular clients to connect.
Other popular names of attack you can see on the Internet are Ping of Death, Smurf Attack, SYN Flood, UDP Flood, HTTP Flood, SNMP Reflection Attack, Fork Bomb, and many more. Some have cool names, others no, but all of them can severely cripple your server.
There are even newer that has no name yet. They are called Zero-day DDoS attacks and are potentially the worse.
So you better watch out and find a way to truly protect your server and not let any downtime caused by DDoS attacks.
Can we really protect ourselves from DDoS attacks?
Ok, I got you scared but, now you take a breath. There is a way to protect yourself from DDoS attacks and keep up your precious e-commerce site. You will need a DDoS protected DNS. It is a network of servers that are strategically located in important points. They can intelligently balance the load. If one gets an attack, the rest of the network could distribute the load. Even if a server goes down completely, the rest will still resolve your domain for all of your eager clients.
The DDoS attacks are a serious matter. They are capable to completely bring down your website for a long period of time. Be prepared! Find a DDoS protected DNS provider with a sufficiently large network of servers. Only with such protection, you can be calmer.