According to one of the biggest DDoS mitigation networks in the world – CloudFlare – ransom DDoS attacks increased by 67% in the third quarter of 2022 alone. These are only ransom-based attacks not counting everything else – gaming and gambling-related websites are also one of the most frequent targets for network-layer attacks.
DDoS Attacks Explained
All DDoS attacks disrupt the infrastructure of an application or a network – as such, all DDoS attacks are mounted to achieve a bunch of different objectives including, but not limited to:
- Fun or status – script kiddies usually mount DDoS attacks for “fun” – to them, such attacks help achieve “status” to their friends or boast about their “achievements” in the cyber space to other script kiddies as well.
- Competition – such a reason may sound weird, but some companies say that one more reason that DDoS attacks are being accomplished is to crush the application of a competitor. Knowing the times we live in, such a reason seems quite plausible.
- Requests for money (i.e. ransom) – some hackers also mount DDoS attacks and ask for a monetary return (ransom) afterward as well.
DDoS attacks can also be content-based: if you’re running a whistleblowing website, it’s natural that a person, a company, or even a country X will not want that to happen, and sometimes their only option is to overload your application with resources: in other words, to DDoS your infrastructure.
DDoS Attack Types
All DDoS attacks might seem to achieve the same objective from the outset – they disrupt our infrastructure. They prevent users from accessing content. However, some people might not be aware of the different types they can come in. The types of DDoS attacks can fall in one of the following categories:
- Application-layer attacks: this type of DDoS attack is probably the most prominent one. These kinds of attacks attack the application making its performance either slow down or grind to a halt as a result. Application layer attacks can also be classified into a couple of types in and of themselves:
- HTTP Flood attacks – this type of attack aims to overload the server with requests. As a result, when the server is responding to each and every request, it goes down due to their volume.
- Slowloris attacks – this type of attack relies on sending HTTP requests to the server, but the reason why this type of attack is being called that way is that the HTTP requests never complete: rather, they only complete partially. Such an approach causes the server to put in more and more effort into dealing with traffic – as a result, the server goes down.
- Slow POST attacks – slow POST DDoS attacks rely on sending POST requests to the server in a slow manner. The aim of such attacks is to prevent the server from timing out and make it keep accepting data as it comes in. As a result, the application slows down.
- Slow read attacks – such attacks aren’t very frequent, but their core purpose is almost the same as with POST attacks – they aim to slow the server down by sending extremely slow HTTP requests to the server.
- Protocol attacks – such attacks usually overload the resources of a server by forcing it to never complete many TCP handshakes. Protocol attacks usually refer to the SYN flood attack – during such an attack, an attacker overloads the server with packets, and as the server is forced to respond to every packet, it gets overloaded.
- Volumetric attacks – such attacks send a lot of malicious traffic to a server and forces it to shut down. Volumetric attacks are called in such a fashion because they’re characterized by the massive amount of traffic they send out – in many cases, such attacks send out hundreds of gigabytes or even terabytes of data.
Application-layer, protocol, and volumetric attacks are the most frequent categories of DDoS attacks – each of them is dangerous in their own way, however, there’s not much to be afraid of. Protecting against them is as simple as never before – simply changing nameservers to the ones provided by Imperva, CloudFlare, or other CDN providers will do the trick.
Protecting Against DDoS & Other Attacks
Most applications can be protected against DDoS attacks by simply switching the nameservers related to the application to ones provided by Imperva, CloudFlare, or any other DDoS-protection services: the protection works in such a fashion that the service works as a reverse proxy – it spreads out the traffic targeting the application in many locations, and as a result, the application fails to go down unless the attack exceeds petabytes and takes the whole CloudFlare network down (which is possible, but the possibilities of such an attack are so minuscule it’s not even worth talking about.) Even if the entire network goes down, engineers will start fixing the issue and within hours – or even sooner – everything will be back to normal.
Even if you know that your application is reliably protected against DDoS though, your work securing yourself and your team shouldn’t end here – attackers are also after your accounts and by either breaching the infrastructure of a website you find yourself using or re-using the password that has been leaked in a data breach that happened in the past, they are keen to pursue identity theft attacks against you: a very good way to protect against these attacks is to use data breach search engines. A data breach search engine provided by BreachDirectory is a good way to protect both yourself and your team from identity theft attacks because it:
- Holds the biggest data breaches in the world and is constantly updated.
- Is blazing fast – a search takes 0.0001 seconds on average.
- Is used by the most prominent cybersecurity vendors in the world.
- Is recommended to use by universities and individuals alike.
Aside from that, the BreachDirectory API can help your company with implementing the data found within BreachDirectory into your own infrastructure to further protect your company – the API can be queried by:
- Email addresses
- IP addresses
The BreachDirectory API is blazing fast, and the result of the API is a JSON response that can be further implemented into login systems, eshops, or other infrastructure to alert users about a data breach that has occurred and that they need to change their passwords or pursue other OSINT tasks. Give the BreachDirectory API a shot, make use of the data breach search engine to protect your identity on the web, make sure to protect your infrastructure from DDoS attacks, and we’ll see you in the next blog!