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What Is A Denial Of Service Attack, How To Prevent Them

4 Mins read

What is a denial of service attack? Denial of service generally refers to a cyber-attack in which the perpetrator overwhelms the victim with too much traffic and locks the resources of that server rendering it unusable, thus “denying” usage of itsresources.

In a DoS attack, the perpetrator attempts to deny the victim the use and benefit of a resource. In this instance, they are attacking a website or IT infrastructure with the aim of interrupting services being provided by that website or IT infrastructure.

What Is A Denial Of Service Attack?

A simple form of DoS attack is to send a flood of packets to a computer or network, either from a single source address or from multiple source addresses. Such a flood of packets may either be random or contain some form of message, such as a series of messages, which if displayed to a user would be disruptive.

To be considered a denial-of-service attack, the traffic sent to the victim’s site must be artificially generated and must not correspond to legitimate traffic. For example, if an attacker sends an HTTP GET request to a Web server, the server will respond with an HTTP response. If the response payload is not valid, then it cannot be considered a denial-of-service attack.

In network security, an attack is an attempt by unauthorized users to gain access to a computer system. The term “hacker” has a broader meaning and is used for intelligent attackers who use clever methods to gain unauthorized access.

A hacker is a person who attacks a system or network by using his/her knowledge of computer systems and programming. Hackers may use different methods and tools and skills and apply different techniques to carry out their attacks.

Denial-of-service attacks usually involve the facilitation of other crimes, such as computer crime, extortion and blackmail. The first large scale distributed denial-of-service attack was by an internet group called “Lizard Squad” on 23 August 2014 and targeted Sony and Microsoft. The attack occurred again the following day and caused both services to be taken offline for millions of users worldwide.

Types of denial-of-service attacks

There are two types of DoS attacks: those that crash a server and those that flood a server. Both types can be generated by hardware, software, or human intervention. The most effective attacks are those that have been generated by software or human intervention because viruses and worms can also infect other devices on the network.

What is the difference between a DoS attack and a DDoS attack?

A DDoS attack occurs when multiple users create traffic in order to overwhelm the target server. A DOS attack on the other hand is when a single user creates traffic to overwhelm the target server.

How can you tell if a machine/server is experiencing a DoS attack?

In almost all cases, the computer is slowed down to the point of being unusable. In many cases, users can see that their computers are slow because the entire computer will be affected. The computer may become very slow or unbearably slow. In some cases, a program or operation that normally takes a few seconds to perform may now take several minutes or even longer to complete.

How to prevent denial-of-service attacks

There are two different strategies to prevent denial-of-service attacks: prevention and detection.

1) Prevention

In the prevention strategy, the goal is to prevent a malicious attacker from being able to gain unauthorized access to a server. This can be done by implementing a firewall or a layer of security that can limit access. If a security system is unable to prevent an attack, the user doesn’t have much recourse except to contact his or her IT administrator.

2) Detection

In the detection strategy, the goal is to detect an attack quickly and stop it before damage is done. The strategy is not to prevent the attack because this is a difficult endeavor. If a security system were able to prevent an attack, a malicious attacker would simply send the same request again.

In order to successfully detect a denial-of-service attack, you should be able to detect traffic patterns that indicate an attack is taking place. This can be done using network sniffers and IDSes (Intrusion Detection Systems).

Network sniffers

Network sniffers can be used to monitor network traffic for signs of possible attacks. The strongest sign of an attack is the malicious traffic itself which itself can be identified using various packet analysis methods. Some networks will monitor the length of the packets, where they originate from, what protocols are being used, and to detect data that looks unusual or suspicious.

If you are installing a new network device that has already been configured for security purposes you should check if there are any known signatures associated with denial-of-service attacks. The signatures can be used to detect specific attacks which are not identified by packet analysis. Also, signature-based detection can be used in conjunction with packet analysis. The signatures can be compared against the traffic captured by the packet analysis method which will allow for more effective detection of denial-of service attacks.

DS (Intrusion Detection System).

The most effective method to detect a denial-of-service attack is with an IDS (Intrusion Detection System). An IDS looks for any abnormalities in the network traffic, such as traffic that is significantly larger than normal. There are several types of IDS available that you can use to detect a denial of service attack.

In order to protect your network from a denial-of-service attack, you should have a security policy in place. The policy should have a section that describes acceptable use of your network and specifies how to deal with malicious attacks. Some policies will state that no external traffic is permitted to enter your network or that there is a limit to what external traffic can enter your network.

In addition, you should implement a firewall or a layer of security on the server that is less restrictive than the firewall.

Conclusion

Denial-of-service attacks are often used by attackers to harass victims and can be very difficult to detect and prevent. A firewall or a layer of security on the server can be used to limit access, but they will not prevent an attack.

The most effective method is with an IDS (Intrusion Detection System). An IDS looks for any abnormalities in the network traffic, such as the traffic that is significantly larger than normal.

Read an interesting article on whether using public wifi is safe.

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