Distributed denial of service also commonly abbreviated to DDoS, is a cyberattack made infamous by movies and the Internet. Simply put it is a situation where any sort of service is being denied but in this blog, we will take a deeper look into DDoS along with its various types. Let us study about DoS and DDoS attacks of a computer. Before that, let us study DDoS attack. to understand the DDoS attack, it is essential to study the fundamentals of DoS attack. DoS simply stands for denial of services. This service could be of any kind. For example, imagine your mother confiscates your cell phone when you are preparing for your exams to help you study without any sort of distraction. While the intention of your mother is truly out of care and concern, you are being denied the service of calling and any other service offered by your cell phone. Now with respect to a computer and computer networks, a denial of service could be in the form of hijacking web servers, overloading port, switch requests, rendering them unusable, denying wireless authentication, and denying any sort of service that is provided on the Internet.

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Attacks of such intent can be performed from a single machine. By a single machine, the tracks are much easier to execute and monitor they are also easy to detect and mitigate. To solve this issue the attack could be executed from multiple devices spread across a wide area. Not only does this make it difficult to stop the attack, but it also becomes near of possible to point out the main culprit. Such attacks are called distributed denial of service or DDoS attacks.

Now let us see how they work, the main idea of a DDoS attack as explained is making a certain service unavailable. Since everything that is adapted is running on a machine the services can be made unavailable, if the performance of the machine can be brought down. This is the fundamental behind DoS and DDoS attacks.

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Now some Dos attacks are executed by flooding servers with connection requests until the server is overloaded and is deemed useless. Others are executed by sending unfragmented packets into a server which they are unable to handle. These methods when executed by a botnet exponentially increase the amount of damage that they are doing and their difficulty to mitigate increases in leaps and bounds.

To understand more about how these attacks work, let us look at the different types of attacks. While there are plenty of ways, these methodologies have become famous due to their success rate and the damage they have caused to a time. It is important to note that with the advancement in technology, more creative minds have devised more devious ways to perform DoS attacks.

Ping of Death attack

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Now the first type of methodology that we are going to see is called ping of death. Now according to the TCP IP protocol, the maximum size of a packet can be 65,535 bytes. The ping of death attack exploits this fact. In this type of attack, the attacker sends packets that are more than the max packet size when the packet fragments are added up. Computers generally do not know what to do with such packets and end up freezing or sometimes crashing entirely, then we come to reflect its attacks.


This attack is often used with the help of a botnet. The attacker sends a host of innocent computers a connection request using appointments which are also called reflectors. Now this connection that comes from the botnet looks like it comes from the victim, and this is done by spoofing the source, the packet header this makes the most of computers send an acknowledgement to the victim computer. Since there are multiple such interests from the different computers to the same machine this overloads the computer and crashes it. This type of attack is also known as a smurf attack.

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Mail Bomb Attack

Another type of attack is called the mail bomb. Now mail bomb attacks generally attack email servers. In this type of attack, we set up packets of oversized emails filled with random garbage values that are sent to the target email server. This generally crashes the email server due to a sudden spike in load and renders them useless until fixed.

Teardrop Attack

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Last but not least we have the teardrop attack. So, in this type of attack, the fragmentation offset field of a packet is abused. One of the fields in an IP header is a fragment offset field indicating the starting position or offset of the data contained in the fragmented packet relative to the data in the original packet. If the sum of the offset and the size of one fragmented packet differs from that of the next fragmented packet, the packets overlap. Now when this happens the server vulnerable to teardrop attacks is unable to reassemble the packets resulting in a denial-of-service condition.

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