UNDERSTANDING DoS attacks
With so many DDOS attacks on web the world wide web, understanding DDOS attacks is crucial.
Abbreviated as DoS, denial of service attacks are a common method cybercriminals use to put down an entire computer network or a particularly targeted website denying legitimate users the functions of the network or website services. It is an attempt or action to bombard a network system with numerous request, always in their billions more than what the network systems bandwidth or website allocated bandwidth can handle.
In more sophisticated attacks, multiple requests from various IP addresses lead to an overload in a server system, often overloading its RAM resources, and the functioning of processor resources often leading to a slowdown in the speed of function of the server, reciprocating to the websites on that server. This always leads to an adverse effect, for example, the complete shut down of the entire network and an extremely slow response from the server. Other instances, particular sections of the websites are targeted denying access to the tabs.
It is to be of knowledge that often the term DoS is often used interchangeably with DDos. The later DDos stands for distributed denial of service. This kind of attack does not happen from one single location but from a distributed (different) locations. Often the perpetrators of DDoS attacks use botnets to disable an entire network or a targeted part of a network. Botnets are simply computers or other internet connected devices infected with malicious software (malware) without the knowledge of the user, usually infected from popular platforms such as social media networks or email accounts. This malware is then controlled from one single location and is used to bombard traffic to a target server or network making it extremely difficult to exactly locate the source of the attack and to distinguish the malicious request from genuine requests into a server. It even becomes extremely difficult to perform an ingress filtering of the IP addresses so as to stop the attack as the IP request can never be distinguished from genuine and ingenuine ones often leading to an attack lasting several hours or in some instances days.
COMMON TYPES OF DoS attacks
Buffer overflow attacks
Buffer are locations on the computer (server) random access memory (RAM) where data is briefly held before it can be taken to another location either to a storage location or a transfer location. Usually, because the RAM is a shared resource always handling many functions there is always a limited space for every function. An attacker can decide to overload the RAM causing an overflowing of the capacity on that RAM leading to data divulging to other locations usually other buffer areas, and not the intended location, that can be described as a buffer overflow. This can greatly disable the computer system leading to either slow service always affecting other users.
Ping of death attacks
Ping is a method used to test whether a particular web address is available. Ping requests are limited to carrying a particular amount of data to the requested host. The requests are often fragmented during transmission and then assembled on the host server before returning the request. Here the attacker fragments the ping request and then sends it to the server host. During assembly, the server becomes overwhelmed whilst assembling as the particular capacity required to be sent over by the ping becomes too large often over buffering the operating system leading to almost a collapse in the operating system. These attacks are multiple and coordinated and easily lead to an entire system collapsing.
Teardrop DoS attacks
This type of attack is launched by making the fragmented packets into a server overlap consequently over numbering the ability of the server to assemble them leading to overuse of resource consequently shutting down any requests into the server. They are sophisticated kinds of attack in that they can shut down entirely a huge area network such as an entire metropolis especially if conducted from a botnet using sophisticated software applications.
Prevention of DoS attacks
The simplest and most effective way to prevent such kind of attacks is to install a good firewall into the computer system. A good antivirus also goes a long way in aiding in preventing these kinds of attacks which can be so devastating. A good firewall and antivirus program help in restricting the amount of unauthorized access, therefore, keeping away any malicious intruder. Any attempts to turn off unused server system resources such as bandwidth can help reduce attempts of these kinds of attacks. Installing filters on the routers also help put down any attempts to disrupt the services from malicious sources.
-Another simple way to put off any malicious intrusion into the network is configuring the network such that only authorized person can use the network or the computer resources. In a scenario such as a firm, the network or computer administrators can configure their systems to be used by only the employees and any other authorized persons. Other attempts by unauthorized persons should be thwarted as soon as they are detected.
In conclusion, with the recent DDos Attacks on Bitconnect and Hextracoin, another simple to use method that can be used is to employ the use of other companies that specialize in cybersecurity to manage your network. Although expensive this can be a hassle and stress-free way to avoid the attempts to put down a network whilst a firm concentrated on its core business.
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