The Truth behind Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks

Steve Smith talks about DDOS, how it can be done, why anyone can do it, why it can occur, and why it happens, sometimes, by accident.

Episode #5-18 released on January 23, 2015

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DDOS, short for distributed denial-of-service attack, is the means that many groups like Anonymous, and LizardSquad have gone about taking down web-sites. Truth be told, there are 28 different DDOS attacks on average, going on at any given time. While this technique may look amazing to the general masses, I am here to clear up a few little known details

First, DDOSing a server can happen simply by accident. For this action to be illegal, it needs to be deliberate. Some web-sites experience abnormal spikes of traffic that can temporarily slow down traffic, make the web-site inaccessible, or even crash the server.

Second, most malicious groups use software predesigned for specific tasks. Programs like LOIC, and now the infamous Lizard Stresser. This makes it easier for anyone to be part of the group, despite background or knowledge base. Also, this means that while we can be certain that there are elite members who are true hackers, we can, also presume, that among them, are inexperienced hackers, often referred to as noobs.

Third, there is more than one way to take down a server with DDOSing, and most include ping, syn floods, tear drop attacks, and some attackers even use NTP servers with fraudulent information stored in the packets.

Now each type of attack has their own unique ability. The ping usually returns a confirmation to the request. If enough users ping a server at the same time, like users accessing a web-site, then the site can go down.

SYN Floods, are a different type of attack using forged packets with fake sender addresses. Since the packet is forged, and the packet spawns a half open connection, the server becomes over saturated with invalid connection requests, and eventually cannot respond to valid connection requests.

And, of course, there are many other types of DDOS attacks, if you are interested in the other types of attacks, you can go over to wikipedia and read up on each specific type.

Please, keep in mind,it is impossible to prevent servers from crashing, but we can help prevent it from occurring. We generally prevent servers from crashing by having numerous mirrors placed in different geographic locations. Each of the servers sync together, but each of the users access the server using applications like Anygate, which allows multiple servers to have the same IP address, despite different geographic locations. One such solution that uses this technique is CloudFlare, which offers services designed to maintain web-sites online despite being DDOSed.

And, as I pointed out, this kind of event, DDOSing, can occur purely by accident, so at the end of the day, it requires no special skills to knock a web-site offline.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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