One of the more common computer security buzzwords in the past couple of years is “DDos.” You may have heard of attacks of this kind being done by hacker groups, often against websites that belong to people or organizations that they dislike. While the DDoS craze has definitely slowed down, there are still many company sites being hit by this particular form of attack. So, what is it? What does it do? Why is it so bad? Well, we’re here to tell you!
What Is A DDoS Attack?
DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. In this attack, hackers use a variety of programs that render servers or network resource unusable or unavailable to the people who would actually want to use the site. They do this by temporary disabling the services by interrupting them or suspending them. This is generally done by using up all of a site’s bandwidth. However, these attacks can also be done by interrupting TCP/IP, fragmenting packets, or giving a “ping of death.”
DDoS attacks are often done by groups of hackers – not just a lone wolf. If it is a lone wolf, they will most likely use a botnet, also known as a network zombie computers, to perform the DDoS. Groups might work together to create a breach in the servers and shut down the site.
Why Is This Bad?
A DDoS attack will render your site unavailable for as long as the attack goes on, and if they choose to do the deed by eating up bandwidth, then you also will be stuck with a massive bill at the end of the month if you want to continue keeping your site online. In some rare cases, prolonged attacks have cost sites upward of $5,000 or more. What’s scarier is that hackers on the black market will charge as little as $150 for a targeted attack.
How Common Are DDoS Attacks?
Believe it or not, DDoS attacks are shockingly common. One recent survey showed that about approximately 1/3 of all internet downtime is caused by these attacks. In another study, over 2,000 different attacks can be witnessed worldwide every single day. Sites that are in particular risk of a DDoS attack include sites that may have different or controversial viewpoints regularly posted. After all, hackers often work to silence or hurt those who may have opposing viewpoints.
What Are The Signs Of An Attack?
How do you know if you are being targeted by attackers? Here are some symptoms you should look out for:
- Opening files or websites is unusually slow.
- Certain websites being unavailable.
- Inability to access any website.
- Drastic increase in spam emails.
- Internet disconnection.
- Long term denial of access to the web.
What Can You Do?
Although there’s nothing that can completely safeguard you from a major DDoS attack, there are some things that you can do to try to prevent them. Keeping your site backed up on multiple servers, and having an IT professional keep a close eye on server traffic can make the difference between a destroyed company and a company that will be able to recover.
If you are worried about being a potential DDoS target, it’s important to talk to a tech expert as soon as possible. With a little help, you may be able to establish some safeguards against this attack.