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What is a Denial of Service Attack (DoS)?

Through this blog, you will understand the following concepts of a DoS attack.

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What is a DoS attack?

The term Denial of Service attack is quite common. If you are wondering what is a DoS attack?, this section will help you to understand the same.

As the name suggests, when an online service is denied due to attacks, then it is known as a Denial of Service attack. Usually, the attack comes in the form of mass traffic.

What does the traffic do? When you try to access a site, the attacker usually sends large traffic making the site inaccessible for you.

You might wonder, isn’t traffic good for sites? Yes, traffic, in general, helps in increasing the revenue of the sites. But when traffic is generated with malicious intent to disrupt the organic traffic, it will be harmful to the sites.

A Denial of Service attack usually happens to crash a site with overwhelming traffic.

The massive bot traffic, which attacks the network, does not usually carry any return address. In this way, when the site host tries to authenticate the address, it will cause an error. As it takes time to resolve such an error, the attacker will be ready to launch another DoS attack on the site.

But, what is the purpose of a denial of service attack?

It is important to note that the target of a DoS attack is not a security breach. The main target of a DoS attack is to, usually, cause revenue loss, toy with an organization’s reputation, and other such things. In addition to the mentioned motives, other motivations include extortion, personal rivalry, cyberwarfare, business competition, and more.

Based on your understanding of what is denial-of-service attack, you might wonder if there are any popular denial-of-service attack examples. Following are a few of the most popular DoS attacks in history.

The advanced level of ping flood DoS attack is known as the ping of death. This Denial of Service attack results in a targeted system crash via a malformed packet sent to the network.

On understanding the historical examples of denial-of-service attacks, you might wonder if DoS attacks are currently existing. The answer is yes, and the following are the common types of DoS attacks.

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Common types of DoS attacks

Viral news or stories usually happen randomly. In that case, when a large population is trying to access a particular site, the site will crash due to limited capacity. Since small-scale sites are built with limited capacity, organic users will have trouble accessing them as well.

This type of attack that happens unintentionally, in the absence of malicious intent by a third party, is known as an unintended Denial of Service attack.

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Following is the comparison between DoS attack and DDoS attack.


Difference between DoS attack and DDoS attack

The above section stated what is a Denial of Service attack and how it is different from a DDoS attack. In the following section, you will be introduced to the common tools used in DoS attacks.


Tools used in DoS Attacks

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If you are wondering how to prevent DoS attacks, the following section will help you.


DoS Attack Prevention

After understanding what is a denial-of-service attack, you might wonder if there are any ways to prevent your site or organization from such attacks. The answer is, yes!

By preventing DoS attacks, you can save your organization from issues such as revenue loss and more. The following tips on how to prevent Denial of Service attacks may come in handy:



DoS attacks usually happen by generating mass bot traffic. Denial of Service attacks are usually generated for malicious intentions and, sometimes, they can happen unintentionally as well. Several DoS attack tools are available on the internet. It is recommended to install or invest in anti-DoS tools to prevent your site or your organization’s site from being subjected to DoS attacks and ensuring hassle-free user experience for your audience.

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The post What is a Denial of Service Attack (DoS)? appeared first on Intellipaat Blog.

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