From time to time our network experiences DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks. Most of the time DDoS attacks are small, and our network can absorb the hit while server admins resolve the issue, resulting in little to no downtime for our clients. Twice during the last few days, however, we experienced large scale DDoS attacks that impacted our entire network. This blog explains a little about DDoS attacks, how they can debilitate a network, how we respond and what we are doing to improve our overall reliability.
What is a DDoS attack?
Essentially, a DDoS attack is an attempt by many computers (usually controlled by a primary computer) to use up all the network resources available on a server, limiting website availability for intended users. If the DDoS attack is large enough, our clients experience a lag, and legitimate traffic cannot get through because bad traffic is flooding our Internet connections. In very simple terms, our gear is busy handling DDoS traffic so it cannot handle traffic to your website. The video below by MicroNugget is a great explanation of how a DDoS works.