A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is the most powerful weapon which the hackers use, while they try to break down a webservice.
According to Cloudfare, a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic. Yes, they are right. The web service can’t response to legal requests in case of under the DDoS attack.
In short, distributed denial-of-service attacks target all online services and the goal is to render the website or service inoperable.
How does a DDoS attack work?
An attacker requires to gain control of a network of online machines that called botnet before start to DDoS attack. A botnet can include personel computers, corporate computers and servers, and other machines (such as IoT devices). These devices are often referred as “zombie or bot computers.”
The devices which infected with malware, turns into a bot and the attacker can remote control of these devices via botnet. Botnets can include between from thousands to millions of computers controlled by attackers. Therefore the botnets may send more connection requests than a server can handle, or send overwhelming amounts of data that exceed the bandwidth capabilities of the targeted victim.
Different types of DDoS attacks focus on particular network layers. A few examples:
Layer 3, the Network layer. Attacks are known as Smurf Attacks, ICMP Floods, and IP/ICMP Fragmentation.
Layer 4, the Transport layer. Attacks include SYN Floods, UDP Floods, and TCP Connection Exhaustion.
Layer 7, the Application layer. Mainly, HTTP,SSL and DNS application exhaustion.
How do you protect yourself from DDoS attacks?
Even your device can be a member of this network without you knowing it. Therefore we have to protect all of our personel online devices from malwares via endpoint security systems and be careful on the internet (such as phishing mails, malicious web sites or applications).
If you want to protect your webservices from DDoS attacks, specially volumetric attacks (Layer3 and Layer4), you should contact with your internet service provider. Almost all providers can provide DDoS protect services. Also you can implement DDoS protect systems in your datacenter or your topology.