Finance

DDoS attacks: what they are and how they are configured.

It seems like a new one happens every five minutes, but what exactly is a DDoS attack?

The man in the dark room in front of the computer screen, the computer normal.

Image: Pixabay

In the past week, New Zealand has seen two major DDos attacks this week. New Zealand Post, Kiwi Bank, Met Service and others. And a lot of last week. Internet service providers. The headline “Company affected by DDoS attack” has become very popular in the last few months. So what is it actually?

First things first, a DoS attack is a denial of service. The intention is that the network or website or other computer service will not be available to its intended users, by enhancing the ability to process requests. DDoS occurs when those requests come from distributed sources – or from many different places.

How is it here CERT NZ explains it.:

When you type a URL for a web page into your browser, you send a request to the site’s computer system to view that web page. DOS attacks work by flooding websites with fake applications in an attempt to overload the system. Because websites and networks can only process a certain number of requests, this prevents any real requests from being received.

Think of it like any other type of traffic. If the volume of cars is normal, theoretically, the traffic should flow smoothly and everyone should reach the right destination on time. If you increase the flow of traffic rapidly, from all different directions and without any zipper integration, the traffic will stop. Then all the city’s services that rely on the roads stop – no pizza delivery, no rail alternative bus home.

This is because the website cannot load or load slowly, or pay, or people’s internet is down. Cars on the road can’t reach their destination.

The distributed part deals with the practice of how attackers can better deny services. In order to subdue a large service such as a bank, an attacker may have to struggle to do so from one place, so recruiting several other computers and their network connections provides a way for the victim to gang up. does. Sometimes this pool of attackers is doing this on purpose, but most attacking systems are involved in the first, separate, hack.

The largest distributed attacks have occurred where vulnerabilities in Internet services can be used to attack, e.g. Amazon tested in 2020.. To understand how big the attack was, 2.3 terabits per second in 2014 was about New Zealand’s full potential to connect to the international internet. Southern cross cable. Can handle about 10 Tbps, and has extra cables.)

Sometimes security control companies and network operators use it to prevent the attacks they are trying to prevent. This is allegedly due to last week. Internet outage, Where service provider Vox activated its defense mechanism, but it incorrectly disabled the service for thousands more homes and businesses, causing more impact than the actual attack. One such scenario emerged. 2016 Australian Census.

Although headlines often say something like “hackers take down websites”, one important thing to know is that the data that websites have is generally secure. The attackers are not inside the system, they are bombing it from outside.

Of course, an attack can be a distraction to do just that. Or, it could be money laundering, As was probably the case. When New Zealand’s NZX suffered several days of DDos attacks last year. This could be activism, such as when an “anonymous” group attacked. Visa, PayPal and MasterCard.. Or it could just be malicious.

If there seems to be a slight reversal in the DDOS attacks, this may be true. With so much to do at home over the last 18 months, people are increasingly relying on digital tools. Technology company Akamai. He said he had seen it last year. More customers attacked than in any year since 2003. (Of course, Akamai also sells Tools That businesses can use to protect themselves from DDoS attacks.)

At the end of last year, The National Cyber ​​Security Center said. That many New Zealand organizations have been affected by DoS events. The report says that attackers who intend to disrupt the availability of the system can be just as harmful as those who want to steal sensitive information. “[The attacks] Demonstrated high national impact capability for less complex malicious cyber activity. Although DDOS activity has been common for more than 20 years, the scale and complexity of DDOS activity has increased in recent years.

It is difficult to calculate the cost of denying service attacks. But if businesses can’t work, then lost productivity can affect everyone. And with the epidemic forcing many people to work from home, the effect is greater than ever – ask any parent when Zoom School closes.

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