What is a DDOS Attack and How Does it Work?

A DDOS attack is when a website or network receives an overwhelming number of details, requests, or emails that cause the system to become unable to process it. This can cause a system to crash and no longer be able to function. Also called a Distributed Denial Of Service Attack, these are a way to make a website unusable to others and cause it to be down. 

These attacks are planned and require a large spike in received information and requests. Each server that supports a website will have a capacity for how much it can process at one time, and each bit of data takes time to process. In order to crash the website, there is a massive influx of requests and information that can not all be processed at once, and that the server is unable to keep up, causing it to shut down. It is called a denial of service as it creates a situation where no one else is able to access the service, and they are denied. 

DDOS attacks are used to extort money from large companies, to close down sites that are promoting things that other groups feel are unacceptable or are bringing harm to others, and in some cases to show a company where they have a weak spot in their system so they can be corrected. In order to achieve this, it takes thousands or even millions of computers, and they are controlled from one central position. The internet connection allows for one group of people to use thousands of computers, even without the owners’ knowledge, to create a botnet group of computers to bombard the targeted website with connection requests, information to process, and other requests to connect. As the server becomes overwhelmed and shuts down, the website will fail and is unusable. 

The three types of attacks are volume-based, which flood the site with just traffic of any type, the protocol attack, which will aim for a weak point in the system and focus there; and an application attack that has a focus on particular applications within the website itself. Each of these will have the same end result but will achieve it through different approaches, depending upon who is setting it up and their end goal in the shutdown.
These can also be used to send out mass amounts of spam or phishing emails to gain access to the account and personal information. It allows for the use of remotely controlled computers to send them, even without the computer owner being aware of it, and causes them to send more emails faster and flood email inboxes around the world. These are used based on the assumption that if you send more emails, more of them will be opened without question, whereas sending a smaller number of emails will get only a few people opening them. It depends upon the odds of people opening the email in order to work. Always choose the best business server service provider with secured functionality.