A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is a type of cyber attack in which multiple compromised systems are used to flood a target website or network with traffic, making it unavailable to legitimate users.
Attackers use a DDoS attack to overwhelm a website or network with traffic from multiple sources, which can be thousands or even millions of computers. This is done by using a network of computers, often called a “botnet”, which has been infected with malware and is controlled by the attacker. The attacker can then use this botnet to send a flood of traffic to the target, causing it to become overloaded and unable to respond to legitimate requests.
There are several ways attackers can launch a DDoS attack. One common method is through a “volumetric attack”, which floods the target with a large amount of traffic. Another method is through an “application-layer attack”, which targets a specific application or service and tries to overwhelm it with requests.
The effects of a successful DDoS attack can be devastating for businesses. Websites can become slow or unavailable, causing customers to lose trust and revenue to drop. E-commerce businesses may be unable to process transactions, while other businesses may be unable to access critical data or systems. Additionally, DDoS attacks can be used as a smokescreen for other malicious activities, such as data theft or network intrusion.
To defend against DDoS attacks, businesses can implement various measures such as network monitoring, traffic filtering, and the use of content delivery networks (CDNs) to absorb the traffic. It is also essential for businesses to have an incident response plan in place in case of an attack.