Hacking – Denial Of Service Attacks

This post was written by Internet Marketing John on March 20, 2014
Posted Under: Hacking

Denial of Service Attacks are currently on the rise on the Internet.

What is a ddos attackSo far in 2014, the biggest issues facing website owners are (DoS) Denial of Service, (DDoS) Distributed Denial of Service, and Brute Force attacks.

To date, more than 162,000 WordPress sites have been unwittingly used in DDoS attacks.

So what is a Denial of Service attack or a Distributed Denial of Service attack and why are they committed by hackers?

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team officially describes Denial of Service Attacks as follows:

“In a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, an attacker attempts to prevent legitimate users from accessing information or services. By targeting your computer and its network connection, or the computers and network of the sites you are trying to use, an attacker may be able to prevent you from accessing email, websites, online accounts (banking, etc.), or other services that rely on the affected computer.”

The reason hackers perform both types of attack, is simply to disrupt the daily operation of your website and/or knock it offline.

The motives for these attacks vary considerably.

  • Someone or some entity could have a political agenda contrary to yours.
  • Someone has nothing better to do with their time or does it out of boredom.
  • Your competition wants to cause you problems or wants to shut you down.
  • Someone you pissed off is getting revenge.
  • Who knows what else lurks in the hearts of men!

Distributed Denial of Service and Denial of Service attacks are the same except for the scale of the attack.

When you hear someone talk about a Distributed Denial of Service attack, you can be sure the attack is on a grand scale.

Conversely, when you hear someone mention a Denial of Service attack, you can expect the attack to be of a much lesser scale.

In both types of attack, the hacker is making use of more than one computer.  In fact large DDoS attacks can cover hundreds to thousands of compromised systems and many of those compromised servers can be your own website server.

There is also the distinct possibility that a hacker can leverage ping-back features in your website, in fact if you are currently running a WordPress website, it is entirely
possible that your site could be used in a Denial of Service attack on other websites.

A single attacker can covertly use thousands of clean, popular, WordPress websites to perform their DDOS attack with a simple ping back request to the XML-RPC file:

$ curl -D -  "www.anybodyswordpresssite.com/xmlrpc.php" -d '<methodCall><methodName>pingback.ping</methodName><params><param><value><string>http://victim.com</string></value></param><param><value><string>www.anywordpresssite.com/postchosen</string></value></param></params></methodCall>'

Attackers are currently using the ping-back feature inherent in the WordPress platform to perform Layer 7 DDoS Flood Attacks on websites.

These attacks are not limited to just the WordPress platform.  They can also be used to attack sites on Joomla, Drupal, osCommerce, vBulletin and other platforms.

Brute Force attacks share some of the similarities of Denial of Service attacks and Distributed Denial of Service attacks with the following exception.  They focus on ACCESS to something, usually your website.

We will delve into Brute Force attack in future posts.

If you are currently experiencing a disruption in service with your website, contact your host provider immediately.

You can shield yourself in advance from these type attacks by activating a website firewall like CloudProxy, SiteLock, AppWall, Trustwave, etc.   Website firewalls can virtually patch and harden issues like this.

If you are currently monitoring your website or if you have ever been hacked and had to clean your website of malware from hackers like I have, you already know how it feels when your site goes down or through no fault of your own gets blacklisted.

The internet is only as secure as the people in the community make it.

To see if your WordPress website has been used to unintentionally attack other sites, Click on this DDOS Scanner link.

Check Site

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