Don't let a DoS Attack take you Down

A denial of service attack is an attempt to prevent intended users from accessing a system or network resource. Denial of service attacks are frequently used to target a specific person or group, but they can be used against anybody who uses the Internet. A denial of service attack can be carried out in a number of methods, but the most frequent is to flood a targeted system with requests.

How does a Denial-of-service attack work?

By temporarily or indefinitely disrupting the services of a host connected to the Internet, a denial of service (DoS) attack makes a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. A DoS attack can be carried out in a variety of ways, but the most frequent is to flood the target with request packets, preventing it from responding to genuine traffic or depleting its resources to the point where it becomes unusable. DoS attacks are frequently the consequence of the attacker compromising many computers and using them to divert traffic to the target. The attacker can use a variety of tactics to control these machines, known as “bots.”

Signs of Denial-of-service attack!

Denial of service attacks shows themselves in a variety of ways. The most common is when a website or server receives so many requests that it can no longer manage them, causing the site to become unusable or crash completely. Slow performance, weird error messages, an inflow of traffic from a single IP address or source, Unusual volumes of traffic, sudden spikes in traffic, and slow response times are other indicators. The best course of action if you feel you’re being attacked is to alert your hosting provider or website administrator right away.

How to prevent DoS Attacks:

There is no silver bullet when it comes to preventing DDoS attacks, but there are some steps you can take to lessen the chances of your site being targeted. By taking a proactive stance and following these best practices, you can help protect your site from being taken down by a DDoS attack. Some of the ways to protect yourself are as follows:

1. Keep Your Software Up-To-Date

One of the best things you can do to prevent DDoS attacks is to keep your software up-to-date. Outdated software is one of the main reasons why sites are successfully attacked, attackers know that older versions likely have unpatched security vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

2. Create an Incident response plan

Ask your security team to create an incident response plan that includes the following elements.

  • Standard operating procedure in case of a DDoS attack.
  • Methods for bringing critical business services back online, which if unavailable, might result in a significant loss for the company.
  • Responsibilities of stakeholders
  • A standard checklist that instructs the response team on what to look for and where to look for it.
  • The response team can prioritise and recover the critical asset using a list of important digital assets.

3. Focus on Network security

Better network security is one of the most important elements in preventing denial of service attacks.

Types of best network security practises are:

  • Honeypots, Firewalls, and antivirus screening at the network level.
  • Endpoint security measures.
  • Security tools that monitor networks for abnormal traffic, and known attack signatures.
  • CDN services that provide DDoS protection at the network level.

4. Redundant digital assets

When you rely on a single server, it’s renders it easy for an attacker to launch a DoS attack. Using several distributed servers, this makes it difficult for an attacker to attack,this has been one of the greatest DDoS prevention tactics. If an attacker launches an attack in this situation, only one system is harmed, and other servers can continue to provide services. You won’t have a single point of failure if you use a CDN or data centres all over the world.

5. Look out for warning signs There are numerous network and application-level tools available to identify any indicators of denial of service attacks. Few of the DoS signs include:

  • Unusually slow performance
  • Frequent website or server crashes
  • Unusual network traffic
  • High network traffic from a single IP address or a geo-location.

6. Real-time network monitoring

Real-time monitoring is critical in the fight against Denial of Service attacks. You can lessen the effects and safeguard your network by putting a system in place that can monitor for these types of threats. Real-time denial of service monitoring can help you see attacks as they happen and respond quickly to limit the impact. Furthermore, by looking for anomalous activity in network traffic and log files, you can typically notice a DoS attack in progress and take actions to neutralize it.

Types of DoS Attacks

As you may be aware, DDoS or DoS attacks can take many different forms. These attacks can permeate a wide range of places rather than targeting a specific aspect of a network or system. Because of this diversity, businesses find it difficult to protect themselves from certain forms of DDoS attacks.

Although you should be watchful against all forms of attacks, knowing which ones are most likely to target your company will help you plan ahead of time.

The following are the most typical types of DDoS attacks:

1. Application-level macro attacks (Misuse of API attacks)

When repeated over a long period of time, simple requests become complex. It’s simple for a hacker to develop a bot to attack a website that provides an API (application program interface) for other applications to use. API functions are frequently run at maximum speed because they are built into the website’s code. These “macro” applications are capable of launching major DDoS attacks, rendering content-generating online services inoperable for their customers.

2. User Datagram Protocol(UDP) flooding

The purpose of a UDP flooding attack is for the attacker to flood a random UDP port on the victim’s computer, causing the host to check the port numerous times and respond with Destination unreachable if no application is detected listening on that port. When the volume of requests exceeds the host’s capacity, it is more likely to crash or behave in an unplanned manner, among other frequent DoS indications.

3. Ping of Death

This is an attack in which a malicious actor pings the host with malicious packets of maximum packet size, the packets are fragmented on their way to the host, and the packet size when reassembled at the host surpasses the maximum packet size accepted by any computer. As the Buffer fills up, enormous packet loss occurs, resulting in a Denial of Service assault.

4. HTTP Flooding

The malicious actor creates a lookalike that appears to be a valid http request addressed to a web server in an HTTP flooding attack.

Despite the fact that this form of attack consumes less bandwidth than others, it can force a server to allocate maximum resources to all requests, rendering service inaccessible to genuine customers.

5. Slowloris

Slowloris is a type of denial of service attack in which a server takes down another server without disrupting any of the target network’s services.

A server makes as many web requests as possible and keeps the connections open for a long time. Despite the fact that it sends requests on a constant basis, all of them are partial requests, causing the target server to keep all connections open, exhausting the maximum connection pool and rendering the service unreachable to other users.

Motivation behind a DoS Attack

A denial of service (DoS) assault can be carried out for a variety of reasons. Maybe they’re trying to bring down a competitor’s website or company, or maybe they’re making a political statement. DoS can also be used to demonstrate the power of the attacker, revenge, or disrupt the target’s operations.

DoS attacks can be used as a cover for other crimes such as data theft or espionage in some situations. Denial of service attacks can also be used as a form of extortion, with the attacker demanding payment for the attack to be stopped. Denial of service attacks, regardless of motivation, can be exceedingly disruptive and costly, and they’re almost always unlawful.

Conclusion

A Denial of Service attack is a sort of cyber attack in which the attacker tries to prevent users from accessing a computer or network resource. This can be accomplished by delivering the victim a storm of requests or malicious data that causes it to crash. Botnets, which are networks of compromised computers that can be controlled by the attacker, are commonly used in DoS assaults. DoS assaults may be very costly to enterprises, costing them a lot of money in lost productivity and reputational harm.

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