DDoS attacks are now something common and routine, both for cyberpunks and system administrators/site managers. Cyber crimes are getting very sophisticated. The bad news is that some of the cyber criminals kill sites just for fun, for no particular reason. This makes young hackers almost impossible to catch and extremely smart.
After all, if you do something just for fun, you’re always good at it. For example, a hacker may bring the site down just because someone from the customer support seemed rude to him. Anyway, DDoS attacks are truly dangerous. The nature of the attack is simple – a website starts getting too many ‘visitors’, sometimes 100k per second. Sure, this is too much for any server, even a dedicated one. Therefore, every site owner should know what to do when facing the threat of a DDoS attack. Here’s my list of 5 TO-DOs:
1. Understand the nature of the attack. You have to know the enemy to be able to fight him. So, you should understand what’s happening. Also, being aware of the consequences will never hurt. Just think of how many sales you are going to lose because of 2-3 hours of downtime? So, if you are not an expert in these cyber crime challenges, let your hosting provider deal with it.
2. Get ready in advance. If you are informed, you are armed. By the way, many site owners think they are too small to become a target for cyberpunks. Well, you never know! Therefore, why not run a script on your server to get a periodic message on the recent traffic. If you see a sharp increase in traffic, odds are that you are a victim. Experts also recommend using a remote app that checks service availability. This will help avoid a sudden decline of service. Moreover, sometimes DDos attacks block remote admin access to the site. So, it would be good to have alternate ways to get control over your sites.
3. Identifying fingerprint. So, you are 100% confident that your site is being attacked. Do not give up. You need to identify attack’s fingerprint. Although many DDoS attacks are very powerful, the traffic may have similar features. Having identified those features, you can tell good traffic from the bad. A user agent, a referrer and even the unique URL are the things that you should look at in the first place. Once you have this information, you can then adjust your firewall and router to cut off bad traffic.
4. Block packets. If you are aware of the attack and its fingerprint, you can now strike back.In other words, you can clean the pipe to drop most of the packets. This is something you can do on your own. However, as mentioned above, contacting your hosting provider will never hurt.
5. Do not underestimate hackers. These young men are smart these days. So, a cheap application that supposedly protects your site is just a toy for them in terms of hacking it. Hackers are the brightest minds in IT – remember that!
Aleksey has been in IT security and protection of information for over a decade. He is convinced that hiring a professional DDoS protection service is a good idea, especially for rookies. Well, http://www.vistnet.com/ is a company he fully trusts.
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