If you are not aware of what a DDoS attack is? It is a term coined for Distributed Denial of Service attack. It is a serious threat which businesses and organizations are facing these days and their attacks are quite disruptive. In accordance with Verisign Distributed Denial of Service Trend Report, the occurrences of DDoS attacks have upscaled in pace by 85% in just a couple of years. Most of these attacks have targeted IT services, Software-as-a-Service, and cloud computing software applications.
Learning so much about DDoS Attacks makes us wonder what these attacks are truly capable of. Such attacks can cripple down servers and bombard them with unusual requests. Most of these requests are generated from remote instances which are originated from multiple sources. Most hackers who originate these type of DDoS attacks often hack the targeted infrastructure by a launching a series of data packets and floods the system until the system becomes laggy and making the server cripple.
Different Types of DDoS Attacks
Volume Based DDoS Attacks
When a huge number of requests are generated and send to a targeted infrastructure, then such a DDoS attack is termed as a Volume Based DDoS Attack. Most hackers perform such DDoS attacks by sending a voluminous amount of traffic to a targeted website. The intention is to overwhelm the network so it starts lagging. Hackers usually initiate these attacks by applying the UDP amplification method which sends a request for data to third-party servers. These requests spoof your server’s IP address as the return address. And before you know, a massive amount of traffic is already waiting for you at the doorstep.
Application Based DDoS Attacks
Such DDoS attacks are usually carried out through an existing vulnerability in the web server of a present software or mobile application. A common type of application-based attack involves sending partial requests to a server in an attempt to make the entire database connection pool of the server busy so that it blocks the legitimate requests. Application-based DDoS attacks can eventually devastate the system integrity and can overwhelm the server. As a result, the web server gets heavy and flooded with unwanted traffic.
Protocol-Based DDoS Attacks
Some attacks are sophisticated. They are targeted on exploiting the servers or load balancers by using different methods. These methods often involve communication with each other. It is possible that packets are designed to make servers wait for a non-existent response during a regular handshake protocol like an SYN flood. However, protocol-based DDoS attacks can inflict a very devastating blow to a customer’s server and cripple down the complete system permanently.
Prevention & Mitigation Strategies
Start by Purchasing More Bandwidth
One of the best strategies of deploying an effective robust DDoS attack protection measure is none other but purchasing more bandwidth for your servers. Sufficient bandwidth is one such which is capable of handling unwanted website traffic spikes. One other practice alongside purchasing bandwidth is to keep a thorough check on incoming traffic. You can detect any suspicious or malicious activity when you are consistently monitoring your bandwidth.
Make Some Hardware Configuration Changes
Another way to prevent a DDoS attack from taking place is to make some simple hardware configuration changes. The best example of such a change is, if you configure your router or firewall so it drops DNS responses from outside of your network, then you can simply control the incoming ICMP packets. ICMP packets are error reporting protocols generated by a router to report an error message. It can help you prevent DNS and ping-based volumetric attacks.
Anti-DDoS and Software Modules
Having a windows dedicated server protected with the help of a firewall is just one thing, but having specialized web applications with firewall protection is another. For such cases, you must have load balancers. Using software modules, you can also add another DDoS prevention layer to another webserver software. You could also use hardware modules that come with software protection against DDoS protocol attacks such as the SYN flood attack. This could be done by monitoring how many incomplete connections exist and then you can flush them as the number reaches a configurable threshold value.