Term:DDOS [Distributed Denial Of Service attack]« Back to Glossary Index
DDOS is an acronym for Distributed Denial Of Service attack.
The concept is fairly simple: a distributed network of computers on the internet, typically a “botnet” of infected computers, are all instructed to access a specific website or service simultaneously. When faced with the overwhelming load attempting to service thousands or tens-of-thousands of simultaneous requests, the targeted site is unable to service any, and is effectively forced out of service.
The term “distributed” is used because the attacking computers are distributed all over the internet.
“Denial of service” is the goal. The site is unable to service legitimate requests and users when overwhelmed by the attack.
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In computing, a denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) is a cyber-attack in which the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to the Internet. Denial of service is typically accomplished by flooding the targeted machine or resource with superfluous requests in an attempt to overload systems and prevent some or all legitimate requests from being fulfilled.
In a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack), the incoming traffic flooding the victim originates from many different sources. This effectively makes it impossible to stop the attack simply by blocking a single source.
A DoS or DDoS attack is analogous to a group of people crowding the entry door of a shop, making it hard for legitimate customers to enter, thus disrupting trade.
Criminal perpetrators of DoS attacks often target sites or services hosted on high-profile web servers such as banks or credit card payment gateways. Revenge, blackmail and activism can motivate these attacks.