Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are considered to be, on the one hand, the easiest, but on the other hand, harmful by blocking any users from using your services. Nowadays, all websites and applications are subject to cyber-attacks. It may cost organizations money by shuttling websites and interrupting business processes and consumer service. The attack enabled websites to use fake traffic to consume resources, causing the system to collapse and malfunction. It interrupts all normal and authentic traffic, so the visitors can’t access any website. So, it is crucial to test regularly your apps and websites for protection against the negative impact of DDoS attacks.
What are the Types of DDoS Attacks?
There are numerous reasons for performing DDoS attacks, from fraud and theft to diversions and revenge, and even for fun. DDoS attacks are designed to target all components of your infrastructure and exploit the weaknesses within specialized layer networks. So, you may face different types of attacks like:
- Application Layer Attacks. These attacks target the Application Layer on your network via sending malicious messages through HTTP. When HTTP requests come to the web server for a response, the server performs several tasks, including loading data, querying the database processing the request, and preparing the response. When the web servers are overloaded, they exhaust resources that can eventually go down. It’s very hard for an individual to identify a malicious request as an application-level request since the requests are real, and application-level DDoS attacks are difficult to detect.
- Protocol attacks. This attack reduces service performance due to consuming intermediate resources such as state table space and load balancer. A hacker may send TCP handshake requests for connection initialization. The customer never sends a notification, and the server waits for it, making the server resource drainable.
- Volumetric attacks. This attack is designed to consume network bandwidth to prevent normal traffic. The technique involves sending huge incoming packets to the networks using amplifier techniques, botnet, or spoofed IP addresses.
How Can a DDoS Attack Affect a Website?
DDoS attacks can threaten numerous issues on your website by interrupting its infrastructure. DDoS attack blocks normal traffic on your site and causes unintentional downtime to legitimate users. In these circumstances, end users typically receive a 500 HTTP error message. Moreover, it can negatively affect the ranking of the website search.
In addition, DDoS attacks block end users from accessing your website. It can cause frustration and diminish business credibility. Thus, a website that does not perform its normal business activities as expected is losing sales. In festive times the revenue loss is huge.
Productivity decreases since DDoS attacks can ruin your entire IT infrastructure and prevent employees from accessing your internal resources. So, you’ll stop working for a while.
Why Is It Vital to Perform DDoS Stress Tests?
Threat actors daily orchestrate DDoS attacks; in most cases, it may be challenging to differentiate between normal and malicious traffics. But you may prepare DDoS defenses and eliminate risks by providing stress tests according to DDoS scenarios. So, what vulnerabilities can stress testing reveal?
- Launching a simulated attack, you may define malfunctions of your website and optimize them.
- Test the whole infrastructure and find out the weak points in it.
- Get ready and make a strategy for attack response and prevention.
- Evaluate the work of a dedicated team that simulates real-like attacks in a controlled environment.
Like all penetration tests, there are risks involved. For example, your servers may suffer an unsatisfactory performance, and your system may crash. Still, it is a worst-case scenario. Using a DDoS penetration testing tool will reduce the likelihood of an actual attack, so there may be some risks in this type of test.
Tools Helpful in Testing Denial of Service Vulnerabilities
Before starting a description of tools, it is worth differentiating between DDoS attack and Dos attack. DoS means denial of service, and DDOS means a distributed denial of service. When a DOS attack occurs, a couple of devices transmit packets. DDOS is an attack carried on computers by combining multiple devices and software for an attack on servers. The DDOS attack represents the subset of the DOS attacks.
So, what tools are effective in risk mitigation and preventing hackers from performing their bad deeds?
- hping3 is an open-source packet-crafting tool. This program simulates DDoS Attacks and allows testing of firewalls and networks, and posts requests for Web app attacks.
- HULK or Http Unbearable Load King can detect and hit attackers’ servers with unique packets. This tool is safe as it is under constant control and can be stopped anytime.
- GoldenEye is one more app similar to HULK, but in addition to sending packets to the server, it creates an illusion of users’ constant connection to the server. It is the perfect choice for apps and networks.
Cyber attacks are rather common but damaging. So, it is better to think about the consequences beforehand and apply all the measures to mitigate the risk of cyber threats. Remember to deal with reliable tools and software to test your website protection level.
DDoS tests simulate an actual number of attacks by DDoS to test whether your DDoS defense effectively limits these attacks as planned. Perform testing of DDOS with the best possible web security infrastructure.
It’s possible to detect incoming DDoS attacks using two primary techniques in one application. Both options will be available locally ( in-line testing) or in the cloud service (record analysis via traffic flow.)
It automatically finds and performs DDoS mitigation. So, for example, you may find all the mitigated HTTP DDoS attacks in the analytics dashboard Firewall or on Cloudflare Logs. In such a way, you may ensure its functionality.