Cyberattacks have also significantly evolved in the last few years. Besides common threats like data theft, viruses, and ransomware, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS attack) cyberattacks focus on vulnerabilities in modern public and private cloud infrastructure and networking protocols.
DDoS is a popular method for disrupting services in the hacker community. The primary reason for its enduring popularity is its simplicity. Several studies indicate that many organizations are not well prepared to repel a Denial of Service attack, leaving cloud computing at risk.
Read on to learn more about DDoS attacks.
What is a DDoS attack?
A non-intrusive online attack that is made to slow down or even offline the targeted website by flooding a network, server, or application is called a Denial of Service attack.
An attack works by overwhelming the target server with a massive number of connections. As a result, real users cannot reach the service, which results in the denial of service.
This type of connection flooding is typically done using botnets or an extensive coordinated hacking network, making it ‘Distributed’.
Why Hackers prefer DDoS Attacks?
DDoS attacks are used because they are cost-effective; they can even generate significant profits. As a result, a new generation of hackers is interested in learning about DDoS attacks and taking advantage of them.
While DDoS attacks are much simpler than other cyberattacks, it is important to note that they are becoming stronger and more complicated.
Types of DDoS Attacks
Following are three primary categories of DDoS attacks:
- Volume-Based Attacks focus on high traffic to impact network bandwidth.
- Protocol Attacks exploit server resources.
- Application attacks target web applications. These are considered to be the most severe form of DDoS attack.
There are many variants of DDoS attack; several of which we will discuss in detail below.
1. SYN Flood
SYN Floods target the vulnerabilities of the TCP connection sequence. In a typical system, a host machine obtains a synchronized (SYN) message to start the three-way handshake.
As a result, the server accepts the message and sends an ACK flag. However, in an SYN flood, fake messages are sent, preventing the connection from closing and, ultimately, taking down the server.
2. UDP Flood
In a User Datagram Protocol (UDP) flood, the random ports on a network or computer are targeted with UDP packets. When the host attempts to open the application listed at a specific port, no application is found. UDP floods are quite common in unprotected enterprise clouds.
3. HTTP Flood
Hackers exploit GET or POST requests to attack a system. HTTP floods can be incredibly costly for a company using bandwidth-limited or pay-per-use private clouds.
4. Ping of Death
Ping of Death manipulates IP protocols by sending malicious pings to a system. This was a popular type of DDoS two decades ago but is less effective today.
5. Smurf Attack
A malware program known as Smurf is used to attack the Internet Protocol (IP) and Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP). This program can spoof an IP address and use ICMP to ping the IP addresses available on a network.
6. Fraggle Attack
A Fraggle attack is essentially a combination of a Smurf attack and a UDP flood. It involves using a large amount of UDP traffic on a broadcast network. The only significant difference between a Fraggle attack and a Smurf attack is that it uses UDP instead of ICMP.
Slowloris is another common type of DDoS attack because it allows cyber attackers to utilize minimum resources to attack and target the web servers.
Once Slowloris has managed to connect with the target, it can keep the connection open for a long time using HTTP flooding. The Slowloris is a highly dangerous form of DDoS attack against specific IT systems, including business clouds and private clouds.
8. Application-Level Attacks
Application-level attacks are some of the most dangerous DDoS attacks because they aim to target a specific application with particular vulnerabilities instead of the whole server.
The Bottom Line
There are many other types of DDoS attacks, and they are continually evolving. Hackers and cyber attackers have exploited weaknesses in applications, servers, and systems in many ways.
Still, there are some extremely reliable security solutions available as well. Many cloud service providers are now implementing new cloud security practices to protect the business, enterprise, and private clouds from a wide array of cyberattacks, including DDoS attacks.