What is DDoS?

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) is a category of malicious cyber-attacks that hackers or cybercriminals employ in order to make an online service, network resource or host machine unavailable to its intended users on the Internet. Targets of DDoS attacks are flooded with thousands or millions of superfluous requests, overwhelming the machine and its supporting resources. DDoS attacks are distinct from conventional Denial of Service incidents in that they originate from distributed or multiple sources or IP addresses. To get a sense of the enormous scope of the DDoS threat, the Check Point ThreatCloud Live Cyber Threat Map provides a global window into malware activity, providing a DDoS attacks map where exploits can be viewed in real time.

What is DDoS

DDoS Threats

DDoS incidents are closely associated with botnets, where hackers take over command and control of thousands of Internet-connected devices, and then in coordinated attacks, direct all those devices to simultaneously send requests to the target. In recent years, however, hacktivist groups and crime organizations have increasingly begun using attack tools that are easy to obtain and simple to use. These DDoS attack applications, such as WebHive LOIC, originated as tools for cybersecurity professionals to perform “stresser” testing on websites. In standalone instances, they are not capable of carrying out a serious DDoS attack. However, when multiple stresser applications are coordinated together, whether through a botnet or via cloud service, these attack tools can take large commercial websites offline for extended periods.

 

DDoS Challenges

  • DDoS attacks can be carried out using a variety of tactics – DNS flood, overwhelming available bandwidth, exploiting cloud resources, etc.
  • Using methods similar to DDoS, hackers are increasingly carrying out lower-intensity “degradation of service” attacks that inflict costly service slowdowns without taking resources fully offline. In some cases, these attacks can also evade detection by DDoS protection systems for extended periods.
  • With the proliferation of IoT devices, the number of network entryways from which organizations can be attacked is exploding.
  • The need is growing for endpoint monitoring tools to immediately and effectively halt flooding at both the network and application layers.
  • 87% of DDoS attack victims are targeted multiple times. Once an organization is identified as vulnerable, hackers do not let up.

 

Prevent DDoS Attacks

  • Implementing a hybrid approach with dedicated on-premises and cloud-based resources to defend against volumetric, application, reflective and resource-exhaustive DDoS attacks.
  • Defend your network from DDoS attacks by extending your security perimeters with multi-layered protection.
  • Prevent DDoS attacks by developing an incident response team that can deploy additional resources.

 

Key Takeaways

All too often, major policy changes only occur when a catastrophe has taken place; only then there is enough public demand, urgency, and political will to make concessions and drive real change. Solving global Distributed Denial of Service of attacks can be achieved before such a catastrophe strikes. As described here, mitigating many major DDoS attacks is achievable through practical collaboration of just a few global parties. More importantly, it can be an exercise in solving a simple problem by working together, rather than standing alone.

Putting in place a security architecture that enables you to detect, prevent and respond to DDoS attacks is a critical step in any effective cyber security plan. DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are an evolving threat. Massive service outages effecting brand name retailers and large financial service organizations still get the most media attention. Yet the fact is, hackers commonly target organizations in government, education, travel and hospitality, technology, utilities, and other sectors with lower intensity DDoS attacks that are harder to detect and remediate.

 

 

 

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