Nowadays, organizations easily become victims of DDos (Distributed denial of services) attacks. Such attacks are aimed at making the machine or network unavailable for its authorized user by flooding that machine or website with unwanted or unauthorized activities or mails resulting in authorized traffic or emails heading towards the web server, being unable to reach that particular site because it is already busy or flooded with unauthorized traffic.

Any small or large website can face DDos attacks

These days it is easy for you to purchase or sell things using internet. You can purchase flight tickets, railway tickets, movie tickets or even book your appointment for procuring your driving license, aadhar card, passport, as well as do online bank transactions and much more online. If these websites become victims of DDos attacks it will be difficult to access them resulting in damage to the reputation of these organizations as well financial loss.

There were several occasions when Twitter and many other online social media networking services became victims of DDos attack. It was in 2009 when people were not able to access their Twitter accounts; nobody was able to post new tweets and neither were they able to interact with others. There are some recent examples where even CEOs of large online payment processing firms in Russia have been attested for hiring hackers to break into the sites of rival firms.

Competitive advantage over rivals can trigger DDos attack

Fast progress towards digitization brought about a revolution in the digital world. Today, more and more organizations want are offering easy, fast services to their customers, which has resulted in a lot of competition among organizations to survive in the competitive world. Sometimes, because of personal or political rivalry, some organizations indulge in DDos attacks.

Application layer attacks are prevalent and not easy to identify

Application layer attacks are difficult to indentify while submitting a form after filling it out or retrieving information from the site as these attacks are disguised to appear like legitimate requests. Application layer attack does not require many resources and so sometimes, organization do not even realize that their websites have become victims of DDos attack that gradually get larger and more complex.

Understand the causes and symptoms and adopt measures to fight DDos attack

If you are running a website and want to defend your site from such attacks, you need to understand how your server or website can be targeted. You need to be alert and should be able to recognize any unauthorized activity which can harm your website’s reputation. The attacks result in connection time out and problems like unavailable connection. As soon you are able to recognize you can take precautionary measure to tackle these problems.

  • Some Symptoms of DDos Attack on your web site:
  • The machine or website experiences slow loading or downloading
  • Unusually, large number of emails received resulting in legitimate emails bouncing back
  • Sometime connections to the website are not available
  • Increase in the number of SPAM mails

Prevention – to avoid DDos attack

SYN cookies based prevention

SYN cookies are one of the most well known countermeasures against SYN flood where SYN cookies are used in the server OS. SYN cookies track the incoming TCP connections and reduce the chances of SYN flood to use server resources to make the system unresponsive to legal traffic.

Use cleaning center

There are various methods like proxies, tunnels or direct circuits known as cleaning centers. They separate illegitimate traffic from the good traffic and allow only the good traffic to pass through the server.

Use IPS based prevention

Intrusion based systems will be an effective solution only if the attack has signatures on them. IPS system works like a guard and keeps continuous watch on the traffic that passes through the website.

DDS based defense

As discussed, IPS is effective for content associated with a signature while Dos Defense System (DDS) focuses on the content rather than the signature, and blocks content which looks good and has legitimate content but harbors bad intention.

It is said that prevention is better than cure and so it is the organizations that offer services online, should have an alert like BSF and adapt measures to prevent DDos attack.