Of all the cyberthreats, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and their types are among the most insidious and widespread. According to a report, 2022 saw a 74% increase in the number of DDoS attacks when compared to previous years.
Fundamentally, the motive of the perpetrators or hacktivists of different types of DDoS attacks is to swamp the target’s network or system with requests in order to impede business operations or render the website/application inaccessible to its intended users. These attacks have evolved over the years, which makes them harder to defend against. However, with the right strategy and a comprehensive understanding of these attacks, you can mitigate their impact.
In this article, we’ll take you through various types of DDoS attacks and strategies to safeguard your digital assets and maintain uninterrupted business operations in today’s hyper-connected world.
Various Types of DDoS Attacks
While the basic premise of all DDoS attacks is the same, that is, to clog the victim’s IT infrastructure with traffic and hinder operations, they can be executed in various ways. These different types of DDoS attacks are classified according to the network connection layers they target, which can significantly alter the way they are detected and defended against. Some common examples of DDoS attack types and their real-life examples include:
CLDAP Reflection Attack
A CLDAP Reﬂection Attack is one of the most common and fatal types of DDoS attacks, with the impact of new exploits shooting up to 70 times the recent years. The attack targets the Connectionless Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (CLDAP), which is an alternative to LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol).
In this attack, the attacker uses a spoofed sender IP address of the victim to initiate requests LDAP server. The vulnerable serve then responds to the victim’s IP with amplified responses, thereby causing a reflection attack.
The AWS DDoS Attack: 2020
In 2020, Amazon Web Services Inc. revealed that it managed to dodge 2.3 terabytes-per-second distributed denial-of-service, the largest blow in the history of DDoS attacks. According to the report by AWS, this attack was based on a CLDAP DDoS reflection attack, orchestrated to disrupt the operations of the app or website by flooding the target with a massive volume of requests.
Memcached DDoS Attack
Like every other DDoS attack type, a Memcached DDoS Attack is an attack wherein the threat actor overwhelms the target’s server with internet traffic.
In this attack, the attacker leverages a spoofed IP address to exploit a vulnerable UDP memcached server with small queries to elicit amplified responses to give the impression that the requests are coming from the victim itself.
The GitHub DDoS Attack: 2018
In 2018, a DDoS attack targeted GitHub, which is an online code management platform used by developers across the globe. The attack sent the servers of GitHub to frenzy with a whopping 1.2 Tbps of traffic, sent at a rate of 126.9 million per second. The source of the attack was traced to more than one thousand distinct autonomous systems (ASNs) spread across tens of thousands of individual endpoints.
HTTPS DDoS Attack
An HTTP flood attack, also known as Layer 7 DDoS attack, leverages a seemingly legitimate HTTP GET or POST request to weigh down a server or an application. These types of DDoS attacks rely on a botnet, which is a network of compromised computers controlled by a single entity. Since the attacker employs standard URL requests, the forged traffic is almost indistinguishable from the valid traffic.
The Google Attack: 2022
A notable example of an HTTPS DDoS Attack is one that Google suffered on On June 1, 2022. Google’s infrastructure and services were disrupted when the attacker used several addresses to generate over 46 million requests per second, which was 76% larger than the previously reported record.
Protecting Against Distributed Denial of Service Attacks
As the severity and frequency of different types of DDoS attacks become pressing issues for organizations and their security teams, it is crucial that they follow a strategic approach to dodge and mitigate the impact of these malicious attacks. Following a well-rounded cybersecurity plan not only helps enterprises fortify their network infrastructure but also maintains the integrity of their website/application.
Here are a few ways to prevent DDoS attacks and ensure seamless online experiences for your users:
Reduce Attack Surface
One of the first steps to ensuring resilient digital infrastructure is to limit the points of vulnerabilities for attackers to target. To do so, you can rely on a web application firewall (WAF) or CDN service to prevent threat actors from directly accessing your digital resources hosted on the server or the application.
Monitor and Analyze Network Traffic
If you notice unusual activities or anomalies in your network traffic, take it as a sign to analyze and promptly respond to them. An efficient way to do this is by establishing a baseline or benchmark of what the typical network behavior looks like. Anything that deviates significantly from this baseline could indicate a potential security breach to your network.
Switch to Cloud-Based Solutions
Cloud-based solutions not only ensure seamless scalability of resources but also are far more secure and reliable than their traditional counterparts. Since cloud solutions have more bandwidth, the distributed nature of cloud infrastructure reduces the susceptibility to DDoS attacks.
Have a Response Plan in Place
A well-laid-out response plan is crucial for any organization to handle incidents effectively, minimize damage, and ensure business continuity, in case of an atrocious attack. Your DDoS response plan should include the following:
- A well-trained response team
- Detection and alerting measures
- Comprehensive mitigation strategies
- Communication plans for internal and external stakeholders
Conduct Vulnerability Assessments
Vulnerability assessments allow organizations to examine the loopholes in their networks before the attacker exploits them. Assessing risks, generating comprehensive reports, and continuously working on the assessment contributes to a robust cybersecurity strategy and ensure continued operations. This approach helps organizations alleviate the perils of (DDoS) attacks and their types.
In a Nutshell
Now that you know that the impact of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks is far more costly and disruptive than ever, it’s essential to recognize the urgency of the situation and take proactive measures to protect your brand identity and maintain seamless business operations. By embracing comprehensive vulnerability assessment tools, proactive incident response protocols, network monitoring tools, etc., your organization can counter the unprecedented surge in traffic manifested in the form of different types of DDoS attacks.
To defend your assets from illegal hacking and for all-around protection from email-based cyberattacks, rely on our experts at PowerDMARC. With our in-depth knowledge and extensive experience, we ensure your digital assets remain secure and your operations run smoothly, even in the face of adversaries. To learn more about our cybersecurity solutions, get in touch with us today!