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Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) - IT LAW

A Distributed Denial of Service (hereinafter referred to as DDoS) attack is an attempt to crash a web site or online system by overburdening it with data. These attacks are usually done under the act of simple revenge or mischief but it results in long term business loss for the company. Usually, attacks from the APT groups are motivated for financial reasons but DDoS attacks are more to do with annoying the person and they don’t have any ulterior motive except for causing pain to the person.


A Denial of Service (hereinafter referred to as DoS) attack includes such kinds of attacks that are designed to disrupt services. In addition to DDoS, you can have application layer DoS, advanced persistent DoS, and DoS as a service. Companies are using DoS as a service to stress test their networks. In simple terms, DDoS is one type of DoS attack – however, DoS can also mean that the attacker only used a single node to initiate the attack, instead of using a botnet. But both the above definitions are correct.


DDoS attacks most often are done with the help of botnets – which is a large group of distributed computers that act in concert with each other –concurrently spamming a website or service provider with data requests. Attackers usually use malware or disrupted vulnerabilities to install Command and Control (C2) software on the user’s systems to create a botnet. DDoS attacks heavily rely on the high number of computers in the botnet to achieve the desired result, and the easiest and quickest way to get control of that many machines is by leveraging exploits.


There are two common types of DDoS attacks including the Protocol Attacks and Volumetric Attack. In Protocol attacks, the attacker usually attacks the networking layer of the target systems by sending multiple requests and burdening the server so there are not enough resources for the computer to accept the initial request. An SYN flood attack is a specific protocol attack. In a Volumetric attack, the attacker usually attacks the botnets to generate a major amount of traffic and clog up the network target. DNS Amplification is a kind of volumetric attack.


How Can the DDoS attacks be prevented?

The only key solution to the question is by planning and preparing and using DDoS Mitigation services. The mitigation services reroute the traffic services and remove any unwanted traffic from the source network. You can also employ standard endpoint security measures by patching your services and training it to recognize any phishing attacks on its ends.


It is considered illegal to use DDoS techniques to disrupt a target without permission. It’s a good practice to use DDoS as a practice drill so that you can target the Incident Response plan for DDoS attacks, which is by law a legal use of DDoS. DDoS attacks are illegal under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Starting a DDoS attack against a specified network without permission can cost a person up to 10 years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine.


To conclude, Everything is evolving today including the ways and the methods employed by the attackers and the nature of DDoS is becoming intensively destructive. The nature and the size of the attacks are increasing growing largely compared to the 1990s. These new attacks are using techniques that have a huge bandwidth number.


With the advancement in technology, the DDoS attacks are becoming easier to exploit and execute. With multiple DDoS services options available, people can pay a nominal amount to use a botnet to attack the server and execute a DDoS network of its own choice.

In September 2019 the attackers took a hit on both Wikipedia and Classic World of Warcraft with continuous DDoS attacks.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Anmol Gilra, is a second-year student of LLB at Rizvi Law College, Mumbai.

You can contact them at http://linkedin.com/in/anmol-gilra-6b938410b

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