For those who follow the news, it’s not uncommon to hear about recent hacking attempts made by both governments and clandestine groups. As our society becomes increasingly integrated with technological networks, the potential damage caused by malicious hacking attempts have become an increasing point of concern for businesses, individuals, and government offices in countries around the world.
One of the most commonly observed hacking technique is the distributed denial of service attack or DDoS. A DDoS is broadly defined as an attempt to render a machine or network inoperable by disrupting the connection between a host and the internet. DDoS attacks are commonly used to “take down” website hosting for an indefinite period of time. The resources and expertise of the attacked host will largely influence the time needed to bring their web platform back online.
Essentially, DDoS involves overwhelming the bandwidth of a targeted system using multiple attacking systems. Typically, the systems being used to attack the target have been compromised, creating a ‘botnet,’ or collection of internet-based programs that communicate with each other to perform tasks. During an effective DDoS attack, the targeted server will no longer be able to accept new connections, a potentially severe problem for companies that manage an online platform in order to generate revenue. In addition, DDoS attacks have commonly been used to disable websites that are deemed representative of inflammatory or controversial social issues. Unlike standard denial of service attacks, a DDoS attack must involve multiple hosts.
For internet users, the value of a functioning, enhanced virus protection system cannot be emphasised enough, particularly when viewed in relation to DDoS attacks. What may appear to be a harmless download could, in fact, transform an individual’s machine into one system within a larger DDoS attack.
For those who require business-level hosting and internet services, particularly on shared server space, it’s important to ensure that the company providing the resources has used all tools available to ensure that malicious software is not being installed on the shared server. Without these protections, it is almost impossible to guarantee the well-being of an individual’s computer or server.