Infographic: The Destructive Impact of DDoS Attacks
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks occur when multiple computers target one system and flood it with so much incoming traffic that the targeted system cannot be used. This type of attack is frighteningly common, with 1 in 10 businesses being targeted by DDoS attacks every single week. Their impact is nothing short of enormous – attacks last for an average of 15 hours (in rare cases they can continue for several days) and normally cost businesses more than $40,000 per hour. It isn’t just income that is lost, either; 43% of DDoS attacks result in customers losing trust in the organisation being targeted.
This infographic from Exigent Networks (http://www.exigentnetworks.ie/solutions/networking/security/) gives an educated and at times worrying overview of DDoS attacks, which are instigated by a hacker communicating with a range of ‘zombie’ computers, which then distribute the attack to a series of computers known as reflectors. These pass on the attack to the targeted system, believing the request to have come from there, and the targeted system is then inundated with traffic, potentially causing it to collapse entirely. All the while, the hacker watches on from their computer in the knowledge that they will get off scot-free.
When you know just how destructive DDoS attacks can be, why would you instigate one? There are several motives for doing so, many of them downright malicious. Hackers may be trying to hold a person or company to ransom, or they might target a specific party as a form of protest (e.g. a staunch Democrat voter might try to attack a pro-Donald Trump site). Sometimes businesses launch DDoS attacks, either to thwart a competitor or to test their own website to see how the business would react in the event of an actual attack.
DDoS attacks are very hard to stave off once they occur, but there are preventative measures that can be taken to reduce their likelihood, or at least dilute their impact if they did strike. There’s plenty of useful, practical pointers mentioned in the infographic below, so take a couple of minutes to read through it and help to protect yourself against the destructive impact of DDoS.