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Understanding and surviving DDoS attacks

A denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to exhaust computer's resource intended to its users. Even though the means of execution, motives for, and targets of an attack may vary, it generally consists of the concerted, malevolent efforts of a person or persons to prevent a website or service from serving the clients efficiently or at all, temporarily or indefinitely

Perpetrators of DDoS attacks generally target services or sites located on high-profile web servers such as credit card processing gateways, banks, and even DNS root servers.
One common method of attack involves saturating the target (victim) machine with external communications requests, such that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered effectively unavailable.

In general terms, DDoS attacks are implemented by either forcing the targeted computer(s) to reset, or consume its resources so that it can no longer provide its intended service or obstructing the communication media between the intended users and the victim so that they can no longer communicate adequately.

The five basic types of attack are:
1. Consumption of computational resources, such as bandwidth, disk space, or processor time
2. Disruption of configuration information, such as routing information.
3. Disruption of state information, such as unsolicited resetting of TCP sessions.
4. Disruption of physical network components.
5. Obstructing the communication media between the intended users and the victim so that they can no longer communicate adequately.

A DoS attack may include execution of malware intended to:
  • Max out the processor's usage, preventing any work from occurring.
  • Trigger errors in the microcode of the machine.
  • Trigger errors in the sequencing of instructions, so as to force the computer into an unstable state or lock-up.
  • Exploit errors in the operating system to cause resource starvation and/or thrashing, i.e. to use up all available facilities so no real work can be accomplished.
  • Crash the operating system itself.
  • iFrame (D)DoS, in which an HTML document is made to visit a webpage with many KB's of information many times, until they achieve the amount of visits to where bandwidth limit is exceeded.

  • Surviving attacks
    The easiest way to survive an attack is to have planned for the attack. Having a separate emergency block of IP addresses for critical servers with a separate route can be invaluable.
    A separate route (perhaps a DSL) is not that extravagant, and it can be used for load balancing or sharing under normal circumstances and switched to emergency mode in the event of an attack.Filtering is often ineffective, as the route to the filter will normally be swamped so only a trickle of traffic will survive.

    Armoraid DDoS filtering solution is the most effective way to be protected from a sudden DDoS attack

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    Armoraid is a provider of DDoS defense software and technology. The company's provisions include DDoS mitigation services, and DDoS protection services, and DDoS prevention services.
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