Terms Glossary

Denial of Service (DoS) / Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

What is Denial of Service (DoS) / Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)?

In cybersecurity, a denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) is a type of attack where the attacker attempts to make a website, computer, or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or permanently disrupting the services connected from the target to the internet. Denial of service is typically accomplished by flooding the targeted machine or resource with superfluous requests to overload systems and prevent some or all legitimate requests from being processed.

With a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack), the traffic is used to flood the target originates from many different sources. Using this method effectively makes it impossible to stop the attack simply by blocking a single source.  This particular type of attack is usually coordinated by multiple adversaries or launched using a BotNet, a number of Internet-connected devices running one or more bots or malicious programs used to perform specific actions. 

Criminal adversaries of DoS and DDoS attacks most commonly target sites or services hosted in high-profile industries. Industries such as banking, credit card payment gateways, and political organizations are common targets for these types of attacks.

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