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On Denial of Service Attacks

On Denial of Service Attacks

It is clear, to me at least, that steps should be taken to prevent DDoS attempts at some point in the network where the bandwidth can cope. This is, usually, before it hits the destination server. Firewall hardware on the main connection to an ISP is one of the best places to block such attempts, but the problem arises from the distributed nature of these attacks. It is not a matter of blocking a single IP address, or even a single range, and trying to block all of the subnets usually prevents legitimate users accessing the site, which is what the attackers intended all along.One approach to preventing this would be to detect IP addresses which are repeatedly sending the same data to the same place, such as large ping packets going to the same hosted server, or patterns in the traffic, and selectively block or delay such packets with respect to legitimate packets from IP addresses seen much less frequently, usually characteristic of real site visitors.Of course, this doesnt prevent attacks which utilise a large number of HTTP connections, filling the servers connection pool and preventing other users establishing a link to the server, but there are often modules for the web server software itself which can detect such activity and prioritise traffic, or drop connections which fit a certain characteristic pattern.Distributed Denial of Service attacks are almost impossible to entirely block or prevent, but measures are easily introduced which can limit their effectiveness. Ultimately, the real source must be determined in order to stop such an attack, but this usually means tracing connections back through several computers which have been used without the owners knowledge, usually by means of remote control software installed silently.