What is a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack?

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What is a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack? Blog Image


Microsoft recently acknowledged that the series of service disruptions experienced by users of Microsoft Azure, OneDrive and Outlook were the result of a major distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

About Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attack:

  • A DDoS attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic.
  • DDoS attacks achieve effectiveness by utilizing multiple compromised computer systems as sources of attack traffic. 
  • Exploited machines can include computers and other networked resources such as IoT devices.
  • Unlike other kinds of cyberattacks, DDoS assaults don’t attempt to breach your security perimeter. Rather, a DDoS attack aims to make your website and servers unavailable to legitimate users.
  • DDoS can also be used as a smokescreen for other malicious activities and to take down security appliances, breaching the target’s security perimeter.
  • How does a DDoS attack work?
    • DDoS attacks are carried out with networks of Internet-connected machines.
    • These networks consist of computers and other devices (such as IoT devices) which have been infected with malware, allowing them to be controlled remotely by an attacker.
    • These individual devices are referred to as bots (or zombies), and a group of bots is called a botnet.
    • Once a botnet has been established, the attacker is able to direct an attack by sending remote instructions to each bot.
    • When a victim’s server or network is targeted by the botnet, each bot sends requests to the target’s IP address, potentially causing the server or network to become overwhelmed, resulting in a denial of service to normal traffic.

DoS vs DDoS

  • A DDoS attack is a subcategory of the more general denial-of-service (DoS) attack.
  • In a DoS attack, a perpetrator uses a single Internet connection to either exploit a software vulnerability or flood a target with fake requests—usually in an attempt to exhaust server resources.
  • On the other hand, DDoS attacks utilize thousands (even millions) of connected devices to fulfill its goal. 


Q1) What is Malware?

Malware, or “malicious software,” is an umbrella term that describes any malicious program or code that is harmful to systems. Hostile, intrusive, and intentionally nasty, malware seeks to invade, damage, or disable computers, computer systems, networks, tablets, and mobile devices, often by taking partial control over a device’s operations. Like the human flu, it interferes with normal functioning.

Source: Early June Microsoft outages were result of large-scale DDoS hit