Hackers are constantly finding new ways to attack websites. Even with advances constantly being made in the field of cybersecurity, many hackers remain undeterred. As any longtime site owner can confirm, cybercriminals have a plethora of motives. Some of them wish to spread malware, some seek to build massive botnets, and others are motivated solely by financial gain. Their preferred methods for accomplishing these goals tend to be subtle and difficult for website administrators to detect until it’s too late. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks is among the few exceptions to this rule. These attacks typically involve causing a site to go down by exceeding its overload threshold. Resurrecting a site in the wake of such an attack can be both costly and time-consuming, much to the chagrin of people who depend on their sites for income. It’s also important to note that DDoS attacks are not a monolith. There are many different varieties of DDoS, and any security-conscious site owner would be well-served by reading up on them.
Whereas most DDoS attacks rely on spoofed IPs to exceed a target’s overload threshold, session attacks utilize the actual IP addresses of the bots perpetrating the attack. In a session attack, the source IP range is identical to the number of bots being used. The attack begins when a TCP-SYN session is initiated between the targeted server and a bot. The session then continues until enough ACK packets have been delayed for it to time out. The ultimate goal is to use these empty sessions to deplete a server’s resources, potentially resulting in a total shutdown.
Synonymous IP Attacks
Synonymous IP attacks make abundant use of TCP-SYN packets. This type of attack entails a massive number of TCP-SYN packets being sent to a server’s source IP and destination IP. Although these packets contain the aforementioned IPs, the data they’re carrying is not at all pertinent. The server’s resources are subsequently exhausted by trying to make sense of this unusual development. Due to its exhausted resources, the server becomes too busy to process legitimate requests. Site owners looking for security solutions that will detect and stamp out this type of malicious attack can learn a lot from a SiteLock review.
Reflected attacks are among the most complex varieties of DDoS. A reflected attack relies on the creation of forged packets that are sent out to a massive number of computers. Upon receiving these packets, each computer will reply with a spoofed address that routes directly to the target server. With so many computers attempting to communicate with the server at once, its resources will quickly become exhausted as it attempts to process all these simultaneous requests.
Ping of Death Attacks
One of the oldest forms of DDoS, ping of death attacks manipulate IP protocols by sending packets that exceed a target server’s maximum byte allowance. These enormous packets are spread out across numerous IP fragments, and upon being reassembled, they create one unmanageably large packet that causes servers or reboot or crash. Because of the cybersecurity advances made over the last two decades, ping of death attacks aren’t nearly as commonplace as they were in the ‘90s, but site owners are still advised to keep an eye out for them.
Ping Flood Attacks
Despite having a less ominous name than ping of death attacks, ping flood attacks pack quite a wallop. Ping floods occur when a target server receives an expansive number of ping packets from a massive assortment of source IPs. The ultimate goal of ping floods is to overload target servers with ping packets, thereby causing them to deplete their resources and go offline.
Keeping a website safe from hackers can seem like an uphill battle. As cybercriminals continually find new ways to carry out their machinations, security companies are consistently forced to step up their game. There are few things website owners dread more than falling prey to DDoS attacks, and given how much damage such attacks can cause, it isn’t hard to see why. To protect your site from becoming the victim of a distributed denial of service, educate yourself on the most common varieties of DDoS and invest in top-notch website security solutions.