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Differences Between DoS Attacks and DDoS Attacks

Do you know the difference between a DoS and a DDoS attack? A DoS attack floods a server with traffic, rendering a website or resource unavailable. A DDoS attack, on the other hand, uses multiple machines to flood a targeted resource. Both attacks aim to overload a server or web application, interrupting services.

As a result of being flooded with more TCP/UDP packets than it can handle, the server might crash, data may become corrupt, and resources may overload or crash, resulting in system paralysis.

The main differences between DoS attacks and DDoS attacks are that the former is a single-on-system attack. In contrast, the latter involves multiple systems attacking a single system. There are also other differences in their nature or detection.

Differences In Detection Methods

  1. Detection and mitigation
    Since a DoS attack comes from a single location, it’s easier to detect its origin and sever the connection. A proficient firewall is capable of doing this. In contrast, a DDoS attack comes from various remote locations, masking its origin.
  2. Attack speed: A DDoS attack comes from multiple locations. Therefore, it can be deployed much faster than a DoS attack from a single place. This increased speed makes detecting it more difficult and can lead to more significant damage or even catastrophic outcomes.
  3. Traffic volume
    A DDoS attack uses multiple remote machines (zombies or bots). This allows it to send large amounts of network traffic from various locations simultaneously, overloading a server rapidly in a way that eludes detection.
  4. Execution method
    A DDoS attack coordinates multiple infected hosts (bots) using malware, resulting in a botnet managed by a command-and-control server. Comparatively, a DoS attack typically uses a script or tool to execute an attack from a single machine.
  5. Tracing the source(s)
    Tracing the origin of a DDoS attack is considerably more complicated than tracing the origin of a DoS attack due to using a botnet.

Types of DoS Attacks and DDoS Attacks

Different types of DoS and DDoS attacks are in use for various purposes, such as to harm a company’s business, cripple a competitor, distract from other attacks, or cause trouble. Here are some common forms of these attacks:

Teardrop Attack

This type of DoS attack sends numerous IP data fragments to a network, making it impossible for the network to recompile them into their original packets. The attacker may break down large data packets into multiple fragments and confuse the targeted system by changing how the packet is disassembled.

Flooding Attack

This type of DoS attack sends multiple connection requests to a server host or application but then does not respond to complete the handshake. The server becomes overwhelmed with pending requests, making it unavailable for real clients.

IP Fragmentation Attack

This type of DoS attack delivers altered network packets the receiving network cannot reassemble, causing it to use up all its resources.

Volumetric Attack

This DDoS attack targets bandwidth resources by sending a high volume of request packets to a network using a botnet. This high volume overwhelms the network’s bandwidth and causes services to slow down or stop.

Protocol Attack

This DDoS attack exploits vulnerabilities or weaknesses in L3 and L4 of the OSI model, such as spoofed source IP addresses or unanswered requests to use the network’s resources.

Application-based Attack

This DDoS attack targets Layer 7 of the OSI model by sending partial HTTP requests, such as in a Slowloris attack. These partial HTTP requests tie up the network resources until the server can make no new connections. It is difficult to detect because it uses little to no bandwidth and sends partial, rather than corrupted, packets.

Best Practices to Protect and Prevent DoS and DDoS Attacks 

Here are some high-level best practices for protecting against DoS and DDoS attacks:

  1. Monitor your network continuously: This will help you identify standard traffic patterns and detect threats early on.
  2. Run vulnerability assessments to simulate DoS attacks: This can help you assess your risk, find vulnerabilities, and train your employees in cybersecurity.
  3. Create a protection plan: To do this, create checklists, form response teams, define response parameters, and deploy protection.
  4. Identify critical systems and typical traffic patterns: This will help you plan your protection and detect threats early on.
  5. Provision extra bandwidth: This won’t necessarily stop an attack, but it will help your network handle traffic spikes and reduce any attack’s impact.

DDoS attacks are becoming more sophisticated and robust, so organizations must use comprehensive solutions that can simultaneously monitor countless threat parameters, such as advanced reporting tools and analytics. Multilayered DDoS protection is necessary to protect against known threats or attacks and prepare for potential zero-day attacks.

How TR Technologies, Inc. Can Help 

When we manage a network, we will inventory the current network, create a plan to move forward, monitor your network, run regular vulnerability assessments, deploy all necessary safeguards, and ensure your network aligns with industry best practices.

Contact Us today for a Network Assessment or to Learn More