Distributed denial-of-service attacks can take your business offline causing brand damage, revenue disruption, and poor experiences for your customers.

What is a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack?

A distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, is an attack that prevents normal access to an online resource by overloading it with a flood of internet traffic until the target is unable to respond to requests from legitimate traffic. DDoS attacks typically utilize a network of compromised computer systems, known as botnets, to achieve success.

Unlike traditional denial-of-service attacks which often originate from a single location, distributed attacks leverage botnets to globally coordinate an attack, usually increasing both its size, and impact.

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The average DDoS attack costs between $20K-$40K per hour

74 percent of attacks that disrupt service coincide with another type of security incident

Sources: coxblue.com, kaspersky.com

How a DDoS attack happens

An attacker uploads instructions to a command-and-control server, which then instructs compromised devices in a botnet (a network of infected devices) to attack a specific target.

The botnet overloads a targets resources by sending millions of requests or a high-volume of data.

Eventually, the target succumbs to the attack and is no longer able to respond to legitimate requests.

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Types of DDoS attacks

Volumetric attacks

Volumetric attacks consume all the available bandwidth by creating massive traffic by sending large amounts of data or requests to a service in order to overload it. With today's Internet, it's unlikely that a single source, even in a datacenter, can overload a target. However, the use of globally distributed botnets has made volume-based attacks very effective.

Protocol attacks

Protocol attacks take advantage of flaws in core protocols and are often able to coerce targets into unintended actions, even with small requests. For example, in a Ping of Death attack, the attacker would send a small, but malformed ping to a resources for processing, causing a memory overflow and the service to crash.

Application and API attacks

Application and API attacks target the core application or API stack to take advantage of potential flaws in code to cause unintended results. For example, an attacker may leverage a known bug in a library in your application and send a request designed to cause your application to crash and deny services to legitimate users.

Why botnets make DDoS attacks harder to prevent

The number of connected devices worldwide now exceeds 17 billion. Attackers are now able to take advantage of operating system or application bugs to exploit machines en masse and create extensive networks of systems which they can control. 

Distributed attacks from botnets are difficult to manage due to their volume and their decentralized architecture. Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks can be blocked by preventing access from a specific source, but DDoS attacks employ traffic from many different machines and from many different locations, making it almost impossible to use routing or web application firewall rules for protection. Botnets have the potential to be devastating — in 2016, the Mirai botnet launched an attack that knocked out Twitter, Netflix, CNN, and the entire country of Liberia.

Nearly 60 percent of companies have experienced malicious code and botnets

DoS or DDoS attacks could cost an enterprise company more than $2 million

Sources: gograyleaf.com, bulletproof.co.uk

Our solution

Anti-DDoS protection from Instart

DDoS attacks rely on two things to be successful — the ability to send a massive number of requests to a site and there to be flaws in the service delivery stack. In order for organizations to adequately defend against these attacks, web apps must be able to absorb the traffic increase without affecting availability — this means having all services sitting behind infrastructure designed to take on this level of attack.

Instart provides industry leading DDoS protection through our massive, global cloud network and our intelligent layer 7 routing capabilities. All non HTTP/ HTTPS traffic is terminated on our edge, and our cloud network can scale rapidly to absorb large attacks. In addition, your entire application can sit behind the Instart network and be hidden from the open web. The result is improved resiliency for your web app and improved experience for your customers.