What Is A DDoS Attack And Ways Of Prevention From Its Threatening Effects DDoS

what is a ddos attack prevention from threats distributed denial-of-service

The term sounds alien but has a potential significance when discussing cyber attacks. According to Astra, cyber security statistics DDoS attacks are to rise 300% in 2023. Don’t you think it has become crucial to understand a DDoS attack and ways to prevent its threatening effects? Discover more about Distributed Denial-Of-Service attacks with me below! 

What Happens In A DDoS Attack? 

In a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, a hacker aims to hinder legitimate users from accessing information or services. By focusing on your computer and its network connection, or the computers and networks of the platforms you are trying to use, a malicious actor might succeed in stopping you from reaching emails, websites, online accounts (like banking), or other services that rely on the affected computer.

The most usual and apparent form of DoS attack happens when an assailant "floods" a network with data. When you enter a URL for a specific website into your browser, you request that site's computer server to see the page. 

The server can only handle a certain number of requests at once. So, if an attacker overwhelms the server with requests, it can't handle your request. This leads to a "denial of service" because you cannot access that site. 

A hacker can exploit spam email messages to initiate a similar assault on your email account. Whether you possess an email account provided by your employer or one from a free service like Yahoo or Hotmail, you are assigned a specific limit, which restricts the amount of data you can have in your account concurrently. 

By sending many or large email messages to the account, a hacker can use up your limit, stopping you from getting genuine messages. 

Syndicates Market Their DDoS Campaigns 

The Killnet cybercrime syndicate debuted in January 2022, advertising its DDoS-for-hire services on hidden online platforms. 

When the Russian invasion of Ukraine occurred, Killnet declared its loyalty to the Russian government and expressed hostility toward those who opposed the regime. 

This was followed by targeted attacks on websites owned by governments and private entities in countries critical of Russia. 

Throughout 2022, Killnet focused its efforts on various countries. It targeted NATO member nations between March and April. It launched attacks against government and private websites in Romania in April, Italy in May, Lithuania in June, Norway in June, and Japan in September. 

The group attacked multiple US-based sites in October and November, including the US Treasury, a financial institution, and numerous airports. 

Can You Deal With DDoS Attacks? 

Defending against DDoS attacks can be incredibly challenging. Stopping the surge of fake data is nearly impossible since it is flooding in from all corners of the internet worldwide. You don't have any control over that. 

Specific DDoS attacks can have their incoming data sifted out by the ISP or backbone hosting the target, but some attacks use data that looks just like what a real person would send. 

The advice to "change your IP address" isn't much help. Even if you switch IPs, your new one is still within the range that leads to your hosting provider. They still have to deal with the incoming data surge, so the fact that the attack isn't hitting your server specifically doesn't help them much. 

But, there is a solution to cater for this IP address allocation. If you switch to a VPN with a vast list of servers and null servers to dump the excessive traffic, you could be a more significant help. 

One way is CloudFlare and Google, which can help with their 'DDoS Protection' services but are never the complete solution(see the picture below). 

They have high-speed connections spread across many places and can shift your service to a different IP and block the fake traffic, keeping their pipes clear. But this kind of defense is pricey and only realistic for those who can afford it. 

Can ‘Admin’ Protect Against DDoS? 

There are various ways to shield yourself from a DDoS attack. The challenge is figuring out when to start safeguarding yourself. 

Your routers can be targeted. Your web server's specific address can be a target. Anything in your online presence that's out there for the world can be hit by a DDoS attack. And there are services out there to help handle these situations. 

Some appliances can be installed to detect and handle attacks on the spot. You might still be vulnerable depending on where you place them in your network. 

In my view, and this is often the case, protecting against threats isn't just one service or thing in one spot that takes care of everything. Having different layers of protection is the best route. 

If you are after a comprehensive solution, I apologize that IT Doesn’t Exist! Let me just share a few insightful techniques big firms often implement to mitigate the risk of DDoS attacks: 

1. High-End Bandwidth: As DDoS attacks are based on hindering your real traffic flow by overwhelming fake traffic, having a greater bandwidth helps to deal with the issue. The crackers will definitely find it challenging to overflood your network. 

2. Get Automated Mitigation: Constant network monitoring is the best technique in cyber security history. This all goes back to better management techniques. The idea is fundamental: hire good managers, be a good one yourself and invest in the best tools. Having constant firewall and intrusion detections, working with load balancers, employing content delivery networks, rate limiting, anomaly detection, and hybrid solutions can help. 

3. Sub-Let The Expertise: If you are a group of people we call a company, it is always best to give your cyber security to third parties for better security. We can not always be cyber security experts regarding technical issues. If you want to start with basic, then it is always better to start with a DDoS protection VPN for individual and business purposes, too. 

DDoS Attacks And Their Mitigation 

Let’s now come to the part about what can be done with tools and techniques to mitigate your risk of being entangled in a DDoS attack in 2023. 

Volumetric Attacks These flood the network with a massive traffic volume, overwhelming the target's bandwidth capacity. 

What could be done? 

Implement traffic scrubbing services, rate limiting, and black hole routing. 

TCP/UDP Floods 

Attackers send a large number of TCP or UDP packets, consuming server resources and disrupting services. 

What could be done? 

Employ stateful inspection firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and traffic filtering to drop suspicious packets. 

HTTP Floods 

Attackers target web servers by sending high HTTP requests, exhausting server resources. 

What could be done? 

Use Web Application Firewalls (WAF), rate limiting, and CAPTCHA challenges to filter and mitigate incoming requests. 

Slowloris Attack 

This attack keeps many connections to the target web server open and holds them open as long as possible, exhausting resources. This is also called a DDoS booter attack, which allows intruders to launch a DDoS attack for free with the back of some high-scale code crackers. 

What could be done? 

Configure web servers with connection limits and timeouts and implement rate-based rules. 

DNS Amplification 

Attackers exploit open DNS servers to flood the target with amplified traffic, causing a slowdown. What could be done? Secure DNS servers, restrict open resolvers and deploy DNS rate limiting. 

DDoS Can Be Threatening: Just Deal Wisely 

DDoS is becoming cheap, and mitigation strategies are becoming costly. What might be the reason? Well, everyone has to stay in business. Cyber insurance is rising as the market leader to keep you secure but believe me, it is the rectification of your cyber risks, and surely not the mitigation. 

It is high time to act proactively. The baseline methods to keep you safer are DDoS protection services, saving a check on hardware/software inventory, IP subnet monitoring, deploying the best cyber hygiene policy and investing in crisis management.

Official Bootstrap Business Blog Newest Posts From Mike Schiemer Partners And News Outlets