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What is the DDoS Attack?

BitForex Editor
Nov 03, 2020

Have you been asking what’s the meaning of a DDoS attack? Or do you have previous knowledge about DDoS attack definition but want to know how it works and everything about this type of attack? Then the information established below will answer your questions and clarify what you forgot to ask. You won't only get to know "what is DDoS" but you will know how DDoS attack today is operating. Get ready to be informed as you read.

What Does a DDoS Attack Mean?

First, you might want to know that DDoS is an abbreviated form of Distributed Denial of service. Now, the DDoS attack definition is straightforward to mean an attack on a website or server heavily trafficked to prevent it from being available. So, when you hear of an attack by hackers on a site, it just means that the site has just experienced a DDoS attack.

All attacks done by the DDoS attack is mostly targeted to major sites that provide services to many people. These attacks prevent such sites from functioning properly after being rendered incapacitated from the overpowering traffic caused by the attack.

How DDoS Attack Works?

DDoS attacks are of different levels such that you need to understand how it works based on the level of attack being issued. But, the primary illustration that works for all levels is quite straightforward. The DDoS attack works by drawing in more traffic to a website than can be contained by the website. When this overwhelming happens on the site, it automatically causes unavailability to trend on the site, hence, inoperable.

Now, the approach used to draw traffic to the targetted website originates from multiple systems that have been compromised by a file which is the DDoS attack. What this means is that the DDoS operates by first hacking into multiple systems and hereby a botnet is created to cause traffic into another website which was the main target. This is done this way to destabilize any form of reversal that the affected website might pose as there is not just one IP address causing the traffic but many. Therefore, the ability of the attacked site to revert the DDoS attack will be almost impossible as the traffic has been distributed to various origin points.  

Types of DDoS Attack

Having known what is DDoS and how it works, the next necessary thing to know about DDoS attack today is the types available. But first, understand that every internet connection has different layers that constitute the framework of the connection. So, attacks aren't just targetted anyhow but they are specifically designed to flood layers by layers with overwhelming network traffic. When this traffic is then too much, the layer would be unable to withstand it and becomes completely conquered.  

3 DDoS Attacks Types

Application attack

This attack majorly targets level 7 of the OSI model, little wonder this attack is popularly termed the layer 7 attacks. What this attack does is to disrupt layer 7 which is responsible for generating web pages and also responding to request made by Http. But when the layer is loaded with too much request than it has been programmed to respond to, it becomes affected, thus, unserviceable.  

A practical example of an application attack is when a particular command is done on multiple computers towards a site. It could be refreshing of a page severally done across many computers which will automatically give the site too much to load and the result will be service denial.

Volumetric Attack

This form of DDoS attack sends traffic by first arresting any bandwidth available between the target and the internet at large. When the bandwidth has been captured, the attacker then sends data through the use of DNS amplification to cause massive overload on the system being targeted. The modus operandi of this type of attack is by using the IP address of the target audience to request data that are visibly too large to be managed by the address. This then makes the target handicap to provide adequate services.   

Protocol Attack

The protocol attack is focused on the resources of the server. Network resources like load balancer and firewall are disturbed to prevent any other user from establishing a connection after being loaded with multiple connections from the hackers' resource. Protocol attack targets layer 3 and also layer 4 of the OSI model by first understanding their deficiencies before giving it the allergy it doesn't know how to handle. This then constitutes the inaccessibility signal the target resource will display.  

How to Recognize a DDoS Attack?

If you notice that your service is slower than normal or just producing concurrent unavailability issues, there is a big likelihood that a DDoS attack is being threatened. Aside from that striking signal, there are other four ways to recognize a DDoS attack.

a) Massive requests to a particular page - When you notice loads of requests are being targetted to a page, you should be alerted that an application DDoS attack is on the move.

b) Unusual heighten traffic - If the traffic rate at a particular time of the day is higher than it used to be, it could be a threat of the DDoS or the attack is already on.

c) Traffic from one IP range - Even though the IP address may be different, yet the IP range will betray the attack to be easily spotted as one that is looming.

d) Traffic with a distinct location - The location, type of service, version of web browser, and patterns are other ways to recognize that a DDoS attack is approaching.


No doubt, you already have a better understanding of what's the meaning of a DDoS attack and you have carefully seen how it works and how to identify it. Surely, the DDoS attack today is on the rise but with adequate precautions, you won't just be able to reverse it but also to prevent its occurrence.

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