KoolSpan U: Weekly Word Wednesday – Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS)

As the number of active zombie devices continues to increase, so does the number of DDoS attacks. When several compromised devices attack a single system during a DDoS attack, the surge of incoming transmissions can cause the system to be forced to shut down, leaving requests from legitimate users to be denied. Many DDoS attacks are motivated by the concept of crippling a competitor, while others are created to show weakness in the victims’ security system. Just last week, a group called the “European Cyber Army” used DDoS to cause an outage on the US Court System’s website.

Currently, there are two types of DDoS attacks:

  1. Network-centric attack – The attacker attempts to use up excessive amounts of bandwidth.
  2. Application-layer attack – The attack overloads the system with an excessive amount of application calls.

In both types of attacks, an abundance of packets are transmitted to the server, which at some point can no longer handle all of the messages and is forced to shut down. Preventing DDoS attacks is very important, and yet many companies continue to ignore them. Some tips for preventing a DDoS attack include:

  1. Make sure you have more bandwidth than you believe is ever likely to be needed. This makes the first type of DDoS attack less likely to be successful.
  2. Make sure your DNS server is protected; leaving it as an open resolver is generally a bad idea.
  3. Set up strong firewalls and filters that ignore junk packets and spoofed packages. It also helps to identify where the attack is coming from and to specify within the firewalls, which requests should be blocked or ignored.
  4. Be able to identify when a DDoS attack is occurring, so that you can more quickly distinguish it.

For more information and to check out some products that can help you protect your mobile data, please visit our products page.