Definition of distributed denial of service DDoS

People wearing V for Vendetta masks, favoured by the group Anonymous who are famous for organising DDoS attacks as part of their hacktivismA distributed denial of service, or DDoS, attack uses many computers and many internet connections to flood a targeted server or network resource with requests, or packets of information, rendering it unavailable to users, or in come cases crashing the network. A DDoS attack differs from a denial service (DoS) attack which uses just one computer and one internet connection to flood a targeted server.


DDoS in the news

In March 2013 it was reported that hackers had hit a European anti-spam group with a cyber attack so large that experts said it could slow down the whole internet. According to security companies monitoring the attack, it had risen in scale from 10 gigabits per second of data to 300Gbps, making it one of the largest of its kind and about six times the size of most such incidents.

Cloudflare, a security company hired by Spamhaus – which had been subject to large-scale DDoS attacks – to fight off the bombardment, said the attack ceased on March 21 but resumed the next day with increased power, targeting Cloudflare’s network providers in an effort to neutralise the defence.

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