Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS is the most popular and dangerous cyber attack type. Cybercriminals perform these attacks to disrupt the services offered by a system connected to the Internet or to stop it from working by consuming its resources.
- 1 How Do DDoS Attacks Work?
- 2 Why Do Hackers Perform DDoS Attacks?
- 3 What Are DDoS Attack Concepts?
- 4 What Are DDoS Attack Types?
- 5 What are the Methods of Protection from DDoS Attacks?
How Do DDoS Attacks Work?
Basically, attackers use thousands and even millions of unique IP addresses to create an instant and very serious overload for the servers and send terabits of data per second. The main goal in this attack type is interrupting services by maximizing the resource consumption on the targeted system.
In general, millions of infected IP addresses used to generate this artificial traffic to the system. Mainly, hackers use the botnet networks they create to assist this attack. DDoS attacks are famous for revealing serious vulnerabilities in the servers.
DDoS attacks are one of the oldest but most popular and effective cyber attacks in the internet world. Since there is no hundred percent effective solution against DDoS attacks, it is very important to take precautions to prevent these types of attacks.
In addition to this, DDoS attacks are cyber attacks with the highest success rate in favor of the attackers. It is because they focus the vulnerabilities of network protocols, applications, or computer resources.
This cyber attack focuses on the servers of the organisation and can lead to serious financial and reputation losses. Once hackers initiate these attacks and reach a certain threshold, a service interruption occurs, and system users will be unable to connect to these servers.
As a result, systems will be unable to perform, offer service or be accessible. When hackers use methods such as Spoof in these attacks, it will be almost impossible to identify the attacker. Although you may identify the attackers, its analysis will take too long so that it will be impossible to take action.
Why Do Hackers Perform DDoS Attacks?
Just like most of the other cyber attacks, the motivation of the hackers is generally due to political, religious, or hacktivism purposes. However, in recent years, DDoS attacks performed for blackmailing or making money.
There are plenty of specialized cyber gangs that carry out continuous DDoS attacks to especially large and reputable organisations. They demand money from these organisations to stop their attacks.
What Are DDoS Attack Concepts?
There are various DDoS attack concepts that hackers prefer to prevent the functioning of the servers, systems, or services. Below, you are going to find detailed information regarding these attacks and the tools, or methods used to perform them.
DDoS Attacks Using Tools
As cyber attacker can use ready-made services on the Internet to perform a DDoS attack, he or she can benefit from ready-made tools too. In general, these tools called DDoS Attack Tools.
Cyber attackers develop applications and systems to automate this type of attack and offer publicly available for use on the internet. Some of these tools are malicious codes that we generally call viruses, malware, or trojan.
In this method, hackers benefit from infected and countless computers. They computers called zombies. Hackers use them for DDoS attacks on systems by using them in an unauthorized way. Short-term flood attacks or directed attacks with the aim of slowing down the systems also considered in this group.
These attacks also known as zombie invasions or BOTNET network attacks. The goal is to prevent the server from responding or let it run much slower than it should.
Permanent Denial of Service Attacks
Permanent Denial of Service (PDoS) attacks can lead to severe system damage and require a system reboot. In literature, there are PDoS attack examples that have been observed to persist for up to 30 days.
Cyber attackers exploit the vulnerabilities in communication methods used between P2P servers. DC++ is one of the most aggressive P2P inter-server DDoS attacks. It can lead to peer-to-peer network disconnection by sharing large P2P files.
In this attack type, cyber attackers send invalid ICMP packets to the victim. Hackers send the corrupted data repeatedly by using a modified ping. Thus denial of service achieved by slowing down the target system.
Today, experts easily identify the vulnerabilities of many applications. Unfortunately, most of these applications are out-of-date applications and exposed to different types of DDoS attacks.
In general, application-level attacks lead to the denial of service for many reasons such as memory or disk space overload and vulnerabilities of software running on the server-side.
On the other hand, cyber attackers can achieve denial of service when they send excessive data packets to victim computers or server systems to consume resources for system interruptions.
Cyber attackers can achieve a similar result by consuming the bandwidth of the systems. Although hackers will not focus on consuming system resources, they focus on consuming the limits of the limited internet connection by sending excessive packets.
As a result, these methods lead to the same result, i.e., service interruptions.
In this attack type, cyber attackers exploit the misconfigured device vulnerabilities that allow sending over the network’s broadcast address instead of sending packets from a particular machine to all hosts on a particular network.
This is the most common attack type on systems with improper configurations. The cyber attacker sends multiple IP packets to the source address to make it look like the destination’s address. Thus, cyber attackers quickly consume the bandwidth of the network, and prevent system functions.
HTTP POST Attacks
This attack type is the main reason why some websites use Captcha systems. It is an attack type that is diversified as GET or POST over the HyperText Transfer Protocol.
If there is no Captcha (security authentication) protection on the websites, an unlimited number of requests will be sent to cause the website to receive heavy POST requests, and thus the system will be unable to respond.
What Are DDoS Attack Types?
There are many types of DDoS attack types and they are mainly performed by exploiting the vulnerabilities in systems, applications, or protocols. Below, you can find some of the most popular DDoS attack types.
Volume Based DDoS Attacks
Volume Based DDoS Attacks target the bandwidth usage of the servers. It is well known that every server has a bandwidth capacity, and this capacity can be tested.
In these attacks, cyber attackers use the hundred percent of the bandwidth capacity by sending a heavy query or data to the server. As a result, the server will be unable to respond to new queries.
Protocol Based DDoS Attacks
Protocol Based DDoS Attack is also known as Open Systems InterConnection Attacks and targets the layers within the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection). The vulnerabilities of the protocols in the 3rd and 4th layers are exploited.
It is an extremely dangerous and effective attack. One of the main reasons why this attack type is so much popular is usually these protocols are used for many years but do not get updated.
PING Flood DDoS Attacks
PING Flood DDoS Attacks are performed by using PING packets and resource consumption is focused by repeating the process. While the server will be busy responding to incoming PING packets, CPU and RAM will be overloaded so that the server will be unable to respond.
SYN Flood DDoS Attacks
SYN Flood DDoS Attacks are server-oriented attacks that are performed by using TCP packets. Cyber attackers aim to lock the server by consuming all the resources. It may lead to serious money and reputation loss to organisations.
Application Layer DDoS Attacks
Application Layer DDoS Attacks target the GET and POST properties in data packets. The system resources are consumed with the GET and POST requests overloaded on the target system so that it cannot respond.
UDP Flood DDoS Attacks
UDP Flood DDoS Attacks target the UDP protocol. The server will be unable to respond as a result of making UDP ports unusable by sending excessive UDP packets to the server.
What are the Methods of Protection from DDoS Attacks?
It is important to team up with an experienced cyber security company to prevent such attacks on your systems. Since there is no definite and permanent protection method, taking precautions against DDoS attacks has vital importance.
In general, DDoS attacks that exploit the protocol vulnerabilities result in successful attempts in favor of cyber attackers. We often see that organisations suffer great financial and reputation losses as a result of target-oriented DDoS attacks.
Despite the type of DDoS attacks, Experts recommend organisations to receive different types of testing services against DDoS attacks. It is possible to minimize the damages that may occur in a possible attack by simulating the systems.
There are many DDoS vulnerabilities that can be naturally available in the systems such as configuration errors in network infrastructures, bandwidth, and preferred applications or software.
It is important to work with experienced and specialized cyber security companies in protocols such as TCP/IP. Here are some of the protection methods against DDoS attacks.
Network Level Protection Methods
The correct configuration of router devices such as Router in your corporate networks is one of the most important protection methods. The success of DDoS attacks increases due to improperly configured network devices.
Monitoring of packets passing over network devices such as routers and supporting them with special data packet configurations can ensure network-level protection. Thus, the effects of DDoS attacks minimized.
Firewall Level Protection Methods
Firewalls are among the indispensable cyber security measures of organisations. Firewalls have packet limiting features that we call Rate Limiting for data packets.
By making configurations such as limiting data packets from an IP address and closing unused services to access can ensure firewall level protection. This is one of the very important and valuable measures for organisations.
DDoS Products and Services
As the internet evolves and the number of DDoS attacks increases, many services, and experts develop DDoS protection devices. However, they are usually costly products and services.
Large organisations can supply DDoS protection products against possible DDoS attacks or provide protection with DDoS services on the ISP side.
Although there is a wide range of DDoS protection products for large organizations, such products are quite costly for small and medium-sized businesses.
Individual Level Protection Methods
As system users, your employees must be aware of the DDoS attacks. Cyber attackers usually carry out DDoS attacks over Botnet networks. These Botnet networks generally distributed over illegal copies of paid software that contains malicious software and similar content.
Preventing the use of unlicensed or illegal software, using an antivirus against or constantly updating, and keeping operating systems up to date will always prevent your computer from Botnet networks.
This will not prevent or provide protection against DDoS attacks. However, you can avoid your computers being used on these attacks.
DDoS attacks are one of the most powerful and famous cyber attacks in the world. Since it does not have any definite and permanent solution, it is important to take precautions before your organisation becomes a victim.
As MS Cyber Security, we can provide you the protection you need in your organisation with our expert and specialized team. We can help you to take all the necessary precautions to minimize the adverse effects of DDoS attacks. You can contact us at any time to get information and receive a free quote.