White hats are in an ongoing battle with black hats for protecting the Internet from DDoS attacks. According to Abhor Network, more than 2000 daily DDoS attacks are observed worldwide.
In 2016, we saw the largest DDoS attack till date on Dyn (a DNS provider). During the attack, Dyn’s servers were loaded with more than 1.2 Tbps of data which crashed the company’s servers. This attack caused major websites like Twitter, Amazon, Reddit, and Netflix to go down. The attack was carried out using IoT devices infected by Mirai malware; which means the attacker might have used your routers, Smart TVs, mobiles, computers and IP cameras to do the DDoS attack.
Since the attackers have started using your Internet-connected devices to launch dangerous attacks (without your knowledge) against Banks, Telecom, and Media (that speak against some political agendas), it is about time we(users) become aware of DDoS.
What is DDoS Attack?
DDoS is Distributed Denial of Service attack. In this attack, hackers use compromised systems (called botnets) to make online services unavailable to clients. During the attack, the attacker simply overfloods the service provider’s servers with fake traffics from multiple sources (botnets). This causes the servers to crash. Thus, the intended audience are deprived of the services.
In simple words, DDoS attack is like window shoppers swarming your business denying genuine customers from getting your service.
Symptoms of DDoS Attack:
According to Wikipedia, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has identified symptoms of a denial-of-service attack to include:
- unusually slow network performance (opening files or accessing web sites)
- unavailability of a particular website
- inability to access any website
- a dramatic increase in the number of spam emails received (this type of DoS attack is considered an e-mail bomb).
Additional symptoms may include:
- disconnection of a wireless or wired internet connection
- long-term denial of access to the web or any internet services.
Why is DDoS attack so dangerous?
- A large-scale attack can affect Internet connectivity of entire geographical regions.
- Anyone can buy a week of DDoS attack at just $150 in the black market. Source: Trendmicro Research
- There can be millions of Botnets since many devices these days are connected to the Internet. This makes the attack more dangerous.
- There are more than 2000 attacks per day.
- Small businesses are an easy target because it is cheap and easy to attack services that don’t have DDoS countermeasures.
How to Fight DDoS attack:
- Be prepared by recognizing the symptoms of a DDoS attack.
- Get extra bandwidth for your website. This will give you time to fight the DDoS without your service going down.
- Monitor your website traffic regularly. Use Web Analytics tools.
- If you think you are under attack, contact your ISP or Host Provider.
- Use DDoS mitigation specialist companies if you can afford.
In conclusion, spread the words about DDoS attack to everyone you know who owns or wish to own a website. Also, prevent your devices from being compromised– I will write about it on next post. For now, let’s fight DDoS attacks together.