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What is a DDoS attack?

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DDoS and what Get Interactive does against them

DDoS attacks have unfortunately been a problem for websites for a long time. A DDoS attack can take a website down for hours or even days. In this blog we explain what a DDoS attack exactly is, how it is carried out and what Get Interactive does to protect its customers against it.

What is a DDoS attack?

The abbreviation DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. In a DDoS attack, a large number of computers, often from different locations in the world, connect to one server. However, this server can only handle a limited number of requests at a time. Similar to a traffic jam on the highway, the sheer amount of traffic causes the server to be much slower than normal, or even unusable for the user.

By the way, DDoS has nothing to do with the predecessor of Windows 95; MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System).

How does a DDoS attack work

In a DDoS attack, hackers flood a server with a lot of web traffic. Sometimes they do this by working together in large groups, but more often they use botnets. A botnet is a network of infected computers that can be used by a hacker.

This collection of software robots, sometimes even millions, can then operate automatically and independently. Usually, the owners of such computers do not even know that the computer is part of a botnet, and this happened at an earlier time due to a malware infection. Because of this, even one single hacker can bring down entire IT infrastructures. Botnets can also be used to send large amounts of spam.

Why do attackers use DDoS?

DDoS attacks are therefore terribly annoying for the affected party. In addition to companies and websites, DDoS attacks are also sometimes used to disable opponents during online gaming. This may seem harmless, but any form of DDoS is punishable. Police investigations have therefore led to several arrests of criminals worldwide.

But why are they performed so often? Nowadays, someone can “order” a DDos attack online by renting a botnet for just a few dollars to carry out an attack. The most common reasons hackers perform DDoS are blackmail and extortion. They threaten to take a website offline (and therefore the victim missing out on sales) if they don’t pay.

This can be a webshop, but online services such as Netflix, Facebook or Xbox Live have also fallen victim to a DDoS attack. Because a large number of users want to use such services, the pressure on the affected company is high to solve the problem as soon as possible, a position that hackers eagerly try to take advantage of.
In addition to making money, a DDoS attack is also carried out if hackers do not agree with the management of a company or a political party. In such cases, a DDoS attack can be used to damage the reputation of a site or party by making it appear untrustworthy. The latter has often occurred at web shops and banks, but other examples include online casinos or the website of the British Labor party.

What does Get Interactive do to protect you?

You can never completely prevent DDoS attacks, but you can quickly neutralize them by quickly blocking IP addresses / ranges or even entire regions.

At Get Interactive, we use a very large and reliable Cloudflare network to protect our customers against DDoS attacks, also known as DDoS mitigation. Cloudflare offers comprehensive protection against DDoS attacks for websites, applications and networks with security measures such as a built-in DDoS blocker and DNSSEC, along with a very fast response time.

In addition to Cloudflare, we also use other things to protect your website. Think of a virus scanner, security scans and a Firewall. All these parts make your website safer and the malicious parties a lot more difficult.

Do you have questions about the security of your website? We are happy to talk to you!