What is a DDoS attack

What is a DDoS attack and how do you protect your site from it?

What is a DDoS Attack?:

A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is a malicious attempt to reduce the availability of a particular system, such as a website or application, for legitimate end users. As a rule, attackers generate large packages or requests that ultimately overload the target system. In the case of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, the attacker uses multiple hacked or controlled sources to generate the attack.

In general, DDoS attacks can be distinguished by the layer of the Open Systems Interconnection model (OSI) that they attack. Most commonly affected are Network Layer (Layer 3), Transport Layer (Layer 4), Presentation Layer (Layer 6), and Application Layer (Layer 7).

Classification of DDoS attacks:

When designing mitigation techniques against these attacks, they should be grouped as attacks against infrastructure layers (Layer 3 and 4) and application layers (Layer 6 and 7).

Attacks on infrastructure layers:

Attacks on Layer 3 and 4 are typically categorized as attacks on infrastructure layers. These are also the most common types of DDoS attacks and include vectors such as synchronized floods and other reflection attacks such as User Datagram Packet Floods (UDP). These attacks are usually very large and are aimed at overloading the capacity of the network or application servers. But fortunately, this type of attack also has clear signatures and is easier to spot.

Attacks on application layers:

Attacks on layers 6 and 7 are often categorized as attacks on application layers. Such attacks are less common, but usually more sophisticated. These attacks are typically small compared to infrastructure layer attacks, but they target specific valuable portions of the application so that they are no longer available to legitimate users. It may be z. For example, it may be an HTTP request flood targeting a login page or valuable search API, or even WordPress XML RPC floods (also known as WordPress pingback attacks).

DDoS protection techniques:

Reduce the attack surface:

One of the first techniques for DDoS protection is to minimize the attack surface and thus limit the options for attackers. You can also set up central protection. We want to make sure we do not expose our applications or resources to ports, protocols, or applications that are not expected to communicate. Therefore, the potential attack points should be minimized so that we can focus on mitigation measures. In some cases, you can use your computing resources behind the Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) or Load Balancers place and restrict direct Internet traffic to certain parts of your infrastructure such as your database server. In other cases, you can use firewalls or access control lists (ACLs) to control which traffic reaches your applications.

Plan for scaling:

The two main considerations for mitigating DDoS attacks on a large scale are bandwidth capacity (or throughput capacity) and server capacity to absorb and mitigate attacks.

Passage capacity: When designing your applications, make sure that your hosting provider provides enough redundant Internet connectivity that allows you to handle large volumes of traffic. Because DDoS attacks have the ultimate goal of reducing the availability of your resources and applications, you should localize them, not just near your end users, but also on large Internet nodes, giving your users easy access to theirs even in high traffic Allow application. Web applications also include the use of content distribution networks (CDNs) and intelligent DNS resolution services which provide an additional layer of network infrastructure for content delivery and resolution of DNS queries from sites that are often closer to your end users.

Server capacity: Most DDoS attacks are large scale attacks that consume a lot of resources. It is therefore important that you can quickly scale up or down your computing resources. To do this, you can either use larger compute resources or those with features like extended network interfaces or advanced networking that support larger volumes. In addition, load balancers are commonly used to continuously monitor and move workloads between resources to prevent overloading individual resources.

Learn to distinguish between normal and abnormal traffic:

Whenever we detect increased traffic to a host, the primary policy is to be able to limit traffic so that our host can handle it without restriction to availability. This concept is called rate limitation. Further intelligent protection techniques analyse the individual packages themselves and only accept legitimate data traffic. To do this, you need to know the characteristics of legitimate traffic that typically arrives at the destination and be able to compare each packet to that scale.

Provide firewalls for demanding attacks on applications:

A best practice is to use a Web Application Firewall (WAF) against attacks such as injecting SQL commands or cross-site request fakes that attempt to exploit vulnerability in your application itself. The unique nature of these attacks, they will be able to easily create custom mitigations against unlawful requirements, such as: B. camouflage as legitimate traffic or could enter from questionable IP addresses, from unexpected regions, etc. Sometimes it can also be helpful to mitigate real-time attacks to get qualified support to explore traffic patterns and create custom protection.

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