If you like to stay on top of tech-related news then you have likely seen that there has been a large increase in the number of DDoS attacks which are being carried out against organizations worldwide. And while you know the general idea, do you know how a DDoS attack works and how you can protect your infrastructure from being used to complete one?
Keep reading to find out more.
Let’s Start with Your Computer
Can you remember a time when you received a strange email from somebody you didn’t know which was asking you to download an attachment or to visit a link included in the email? Have you ever installed the file or clicked the link? If you did, then there is a good chance that your computer has been used in a DDoS attack. This is because the sender of the email used the link or the attachment to install a small piece of software on your computer which gives them a limited amount of control over your computer.
Now, How a Webpage Works
Imagine that you want to get a discount on a vacation so you get a Expedia coupon from the Groupon Coupons page. Simple. What happens in the background, however, isn’t as simple.
As soon as you make your request, the computer which hosts the website you want to visit allocates processing power and memory to your request and to keep your web-visit active. Just like all computers, the ones hosting the website you are visiting have a limited amount of processing power and capacity. Once they reach their capacity the website is longer able to be viewed or accessed.
If you can remember a time when there was a breaking news story and you couldn’t read about it on your local news’ website because too many people were trying to access it, then you know what happens.
How It All Comes Together
Think back to the first section about you installing a piece of software on your computer and imagine that the sender has sent the link or attachment to millions of people just like you. Now imagine that only 10 million people click the link or install the software.
Armed with this army of now zombie-computer, the sender of the email, also known as a hacker, can command each of the devices to visit a particular website. All at once.
As an example, imagine that the hacker is angry at a particular company’s service they were unhappy with. By using the army of machines, the hacker could exhaust the processing power of the hosting website until the website of the company they hold a grievance against is not only not able to function but is not accessible for a long period of time.
Protecting Your Infrastructure
The best way to prevent your infrastructure and computer from becoming infected and being used for this purpose is through education. Share this post with your employees so that they are aware of just how easy it is for them to become susceptible to an email designed to install nasty software on your computers and take over your network for these purposes.