What is a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack?

DDoS attack or cyberattack in progress

A distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS attack, is when hackers use multiple computers or bots to send requests to a website simultaneously. This overload causes legitimate users who try to access the site to have trouble and slow it down. If you’re a website owner and your visitors can’t get through on one page or to the site as a whole, this is a DDoS attack. A DDoS attack has three phases: reconnaissance, assembly and amplification. Reconnaissance involves identifying vulnerable websites that are likely targets for an attack. Attacking those sites will be easier once the attacker has identified them in advance. The second phase involves assembling the bot that will allow attackers access the target site from different locations which are also easy to simulate. The final phase is amplification. Attackers will use rented servers (such as cloud providers) or their own machines with as much processing power as possible to increase the impact of the attack faster than they could by themselves. Which means renting a virtual private server or renting an entire server from a cloud provider, can lead to much faster DDoS attacks than owning your own hardware.

Is DDoS attack a serious cyberattack?

One of the biggest questions when it comes to DDoS attacks is whether they are a serious cyberattack. Some people would argue that because they don’t have access to data, they aren’t a serious attack, while others say that the damage caused is too severe for them not to be considered a threat as a website going offline can lead to a decrease in traffic, impact search engine rankings and cause a drop in sales. Many cyberattacks are classified as serious because of their potential impact on society and economy. DDoS attacks are a tool for low to mid level hackers to disrupt a targeted website and do not require high level coding knowledge as such, they are preventable with the help of a cybersecurity professional.

How to detect a DDoS attack?

You can detect a DDoS attack in three ways: monitoring website usage, using ping back tools or using open-source tools. Monitoring website usage is the most reliable option because it gives you a good idea of how busy your site is during peak hours. Talk to our team to see your options for monitoring website usage. Ping back tools can be helpful, but they aren’t always accurate, as some servers may not have the right software installed to trigger ping backs. Open-source tools are free and are good for understanding what’s happening with your site’s CPU/memory load, but they’re harder to use than either of the other options.

Illuminated keyboard keys
Are DDoS attacks traceable?

The good news is that some attacks can be traced. For example, if a hacker rents a server and uses their own personal computer to launch the attack, it’s easily traceable. Other methods, like using rented cloud services or renting a botnet, are harder to track down. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that if someone pays for a DDoS attack, they will get what they pay for. Even when the attack is successful, it doesn’t mean the attacker actually accomplished anything–they just made it possible for their competitor to have better access than theirs did.

How can I get my website back up after a DDoS attack?

Blocking the attacker’s IP addresses is one of the most effective ways to stop a DDoS attack. This will prevent the attacker’s computers from reaching your website. In order to do this, you need to add specific IP addresses to your list of blocked hosts on your firewall. Contact the Global Edge 2020 Inc. cybersecurity team should you experience a DDoS attack, and we’ll assist you to get your digital assets recovered and secured.