DoS vs. DDoS: One on One, or One on Many

April 17, 2015 in Cyber Attacks
DoS vs DDoS

Please read the following post with this notion in mind: DoS doesn’t refer to the classic operating system, nor is DDoS a “Different” version of this system.

DoS and DDoS are two common types of cyber attacks that can block legitimate users from getting access to your website. Both attacks can cause companies to lose millions of dollars in just a few hours. According to Incapsula, the average cost of a successful DDoS attack is $500,000. Although these two attacks look similar and both have unfavorable financial influences, the difference between them is more than just the letter “D.”

DoS Attack

A Denial-of-Service attack (DoS attack) is a type of cyber attack executed from a single server or a home network. It can compromise your website in the following ways:

  • Resource exhaustion, such as using all CPU time, bandwidth, etc.
  • Limitation exploitation, such as repeatedly attempting to log into one account to constantly block the legitimate user out
  • Process crashing, such as leveraging an infected software to disrupt requests sent from legitimate users
  • Data corruption, such as changing all user types into invalid types to prevent users from logging in

Among these categories, resource exhaustion is the most common type of DoS attack. It is usually caused by a hacker flooding requests to your server to drain one or more resources. During a DoS attack, your website usually stops responding to visitors. Therefore, if your customer service center is receiving constant complaints from customers who can’t get access to your online services while most access requests come from one IP address, you should consider the possibility of a DoS attack.

DDoS Attack

Distributed Denial-of-Service attack (DDoS attack) is usually considered as an evolved version of DoS attack. It has all the negative effects of DoS attack and is harder to stop. A DDoS attack is executed by having multiple computers on different networks (called a botnet), to send a large amount of requests to your website at the same time.

If a DoS attack is like starting a one-on-one fight, then DDoS attack is like besieging your house with people flooding from different directions. What’s worse, these people all look like legitimate visitors, because DDoS attackers can compromise legitimate source IPs and leverage them to start an attack. Even if there is no malicious hacker, DDoS can still happen when there is an unexpectedly large traffic to your website.

DDoS attacks are very hard to prevent, because it’s difficult to differentiate a legitimate user from a compromised visitor. To help you mitigate the increasingly rampant DDoS attack, SiteLock Website Security, the most comprehensive DDoS protection solution in the industry, can target vital components of comprehensive DDoS attacks by providing Web Application Protection, Infrastructure Protection and DNS Protection, adding multiple layers to your online business.

Explore SiteLock website security plans, and find out the security solution that fits your site.

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