When most people hear the term hacker, they think of a cyber-thief who breaks into a secure system to steal sensitive data. Hackers like this certainly do exist, of course, and they pose a continual threat to web-based systems, but hackers also commonly engage in cyber-attacks against specific websites or systems for the sole purpose of disrupting service. In fact, according to the Verisign/Merril Research Group, one third of all Internet downtime is attributable to these types of attacks, which are known as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks can be very disruptive and disabling without the proper security measures in place.
Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS)
A distributed denial of service attack happens when a hacker overwhelms a single target with more traffic than it can handle. The target can be a website, email server, or even critical network infrastructure. This attack causes disruption to everyone trying to access the resources and has the potential to impact other customers on or between the network links of the destination target. This can cause tremendous latency and packet loss for all involved.
Hackers accomplish this by taking control of hundreds or thousands of computers through malware. Links to malware installers are spammed across the Internet, and unsuspecting users who click on infected links in emails or social networks download these malicious programs. This network of infected computers, referred to as a “botnet”, can then be controlled by a single user who can overload any target, large or small. Once the links are full, other users are prevented from accessing the target resource, leaving it, in effect, “down.”
Security Measures You Can Trust
Fortunately, we are not helpless in this fight. Data102 has mitigation systems in place to protect our customers from DDoS attacks. Currently, we monitor all network packet flows that come into our network and analyze the data in real time. If an attack pattern is detected, the IP addresses are “black holed” or redirected away from the intended site into a temporary null route. Just like the monitoring and analysis, this routing redirection happens in real-time, and is pushed to our upstream carriers to further secure our links from saturation.
Data102 has years of experience dealing with DDoS attacks. The layers of protection we have in place keep our customers up and running safely. Give us a call to find out more about our colocation and managed hosting services.