Damn Dirty DoS Attacks
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In case you haven't noticed, the Internet is a dangerous place. Everywhere you turn there's someone trying to hack into your computer and either extract your vital information or simply unload as much spam as your system can hold. In most cases, they're just trying to make your online experience as frustrating as possible. In this article, we're going to examine how these cowards use denial-of-service (DoS) attacks for just that purpose.
This article is a actually sub-part to a series initiated by James Payne mainly dealing with notorious online criminal organizations and their techniques. I say sub-part because it isn't actually part of the series, rather it sidetracks into one of the specific techniques possibly employed by one or more of these groups. And since these criminal organizations mean business, DoS attacks would be right up their alley.
A DoS attack is when someone attempts to prevent Internet users from using a computer resource efficiently or at all for any given amount of time. An attacker would be able to influence anything from email, online accounts, or a standard website. Usually all are run on high-profile servers, like banks and credit card companies. They do this by targeting a computer and its network connection or the computers involved in a network of sites.
A common way of “denying service” would be to overload the victim's machine with outside communication requests or information. All requests are sent to the site's computer server as a signal that you would like to view the page. It figures that a server would only be able to process a finite number of communication requests at a time, so it is definitely possible for an attacker to overload the server. The same thing can happen if the attacker were to overwhelm your email account with spam, so that it exceeds the data quota allowed by the account provider and prevents you from receiving the messages you want to receive.
A DoS attack can be deemed successful if the targeted computer is forced to reset or if it has consumed enough resources to render its service providing capabilities useless. As a consequence, there will be victims on both ends of the spectrum: the service provider and the intended user will no longer be able to communicate as the corresponding program had intended.
The Internet Architecture Board, which is designated with technical and engineering development oversight, regards DoS attacks as violations of the Internet proper use policy. So why are people still doing it? Shouldn't that be enough? As you'll see in the following sections, the methods of attack have become so sophisticated and there are so many to choose from that it's almost too tempting for a hacker to refuse. Keep reading to find out for yourself.
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