It’s a common, but unfortunate situation for any server: you’ve had to remove somebody from your server, be it a gaming server, and e-mail server, or a proprietary company server. Suddenly, a few weeks later – or even a few hours – you suddenly start to experience a server slowdown. Users cannot get in, and when they get disconnected, that’s it: they can’t log back in. Now, the most obvious conclusion is you’ve been targeted by a DDoS attack. And it could have come from anyone you’ve crossed paths with in the course of operating your server.
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DDoS – simple but deadly
A DDoS attack aims to do only one thing: prevent your server from doing its job. The name itself, Distributed Denial of Service, tells you all you need to know. The basic attack profile is that you’re server is being hit by a large amount of requests from many PCs at the same time. This congests up your bandwidth, and at the same time slows down your server’s processing capacity.
Think of your server as a game room with one door. Now, that door is probably large enough to allow three people at most to go in at the same time. However, do imagine if a whole crowd of people wanted to get in. What would happen if 40 people tried to get in at the same time? They would end up clogging the doorway. No one would be able to get in and if people do get out, they won’t be able to get in again, either. This is roughly the idea behind a DDoS attack. Your server’s resources are being eaten up in two ways. In the first instance, your server is trying to stop the DDoS attacks one by one, or even by banning whole IP ranges. In the second instance, it’s trying to answer all the requests that are coming through. Even requests from actual users will be tied up.
And since it’s a distributed attack, that means that more than one PC is being used, and it really is only a matter of time before your server is overwhelmed by data requests from different points. These different points are all part of a bot net, which is a network of PCs designed to send out thousands, if not millions, of requests to the same targeted PC or server.
Stopping the barrage
The most effective way to stop a DDoS attack is to weather it, and use DDoS filtering systems. This is usually done by having virtual or real servers put in front of your server, so that traffic has to go through them before it hits your server. You can’t have too many, since that will affect your lag time, so it’s a balance between performance and protection. That’s where Anti-DDoS measures come in; DDoS Mitigation protects your website from DDoS attacks. Don’t wait for the next DDoS attack to take your server down. Be proactive, and make sure you have Anti-DDoS protection ready.