3 Famous DDoS Attacks
Some of the more darker aspects of the web can be said to revolve around something called a denial of service attack. Cyber attacks like these only come out of the deep web, or other wise known as the dark web. Or do they? I will be covering some pretty famous DDoS attacks. If you haven’t caught on in my first sentence, DDoS is short for denial of service. If you are new to the cyberdefense field and are looking to learn more, you might be wondering what a DDoS attack is? We’ll, your in luck, because that’s what were about to explain!
What Are DDoS Attacks?
As I stated earlier in the opening paragraph of this article, DDoS is short for a denial of service attack. As the name implies, it is denying someone, or something a type of service.
You can watch the YouTube video explanation on what a DDoS attack is, and then read on!
These hackers that deploy a DDoS attack are attempting to prevent the internet server from giving service to your website. You as a user will not be able to access a website where ever it is being hosted. How are they able to accomplish? Let me explain.
Hackers get hundreds if not thousands of internet users to download a specialized software with the intent of utilizing a denial of service attack. The users who download this type of software may know that they are downloading it with a full intent on being apart of a denial of service attack.
However, users may download this DDoS software with malicious purposes without even knowing that their computer will be a part of a denial of service attack. They could download the virus unintentionally through a phishing attempt.
How Do DDoS Attacks Work?
Denial of service attacks work like this especially famous DDoS attacks. Since a bunch of users have this malicious software downloaded onto their computer whether they know it or not, a hacker will then target a specific website to attack.
The website could be a government website, it could be a huge corporate website, it could even be Joe Schmoe’s random blog. What ever, you get the point! Just know that this is a website being targeted for an attack, and it is being hosted on a server somewhere.
The hacker can now execute his attack by having all of the users with the downloaded denial of service attack software on their computers attack the targeted websites. These hundreds if not thousands of computers will send multiple request a few thousands times all together within milliseconds flooding the server that the website is being hosted on.
Through all these requests, the server will then become overloaded and have no choice but to shut down. The server shutting down will of course force the website to no longer be on the web. This will tell the hosted website that you have been hacked!
As you can vividly imagine, denial of service attacks can be very damaging.
Why are DDoS Attacks So Harmful?
If one doesn’t know too much about technology and cyberdefense, then they might even ask the question, well why are these attacks harmful? I mean they are just online websites shutting down temporarily right? Wrong! Most websites these days are a person’s or companies financial life source! Famous DDoS attacks have caused a lot of damage to many peoples lives.
Lets say the only income you receive is on running a blog that deals with a topic of taking information security classes, or maybe you even have an eCommerce website that sells products online as your financial life source, or what if you are a government agency providing valuable real time information to the public on lets say the Zika virus. Denial of service attacks are extremely harmful. They are harmful because they are preventing the sites owner from doing business as.
If a website shuts down for even a few minutes, that can be a detrimental loss of revenue, especially for small and large business owners alike. As you can see, denial of service attacks are a major threat in the cyber security field.
Before we cover our most famous DDoS attacks, Let us talk about the different types of denial of service attacks.
Types Of DDoS Attacks
There are some different types of DDoS attacks that I will be briefly touching up on. Let’s go over some of them:
UDP Flood – This type of attack floods internet ports on a specified host that has many UDP packets. What this means is that the server is constantly checking for the application to arrive and listening to the internet port, when in fact there is no application being sent to the host.
SYN Flood – The SYN flood exploits weaknesses within the TCP connection. This weakness is that the SYN is requesting to form a connection with TCP, and since a connection must be answered, the SYN continues to send multiple requests but does not respond. This causes a loop in TCP to constantly check for a response, thus flooding the network causing it to shut down due to overload.
ICMP Flood – ICMP over loads the server it is targeting with ICMP Echno request packets through pinging the server multiple times while waiting for a response. This overloads the incoming bandwidth which causes the system to become extremely slow!
More Types Of DDoS Attacks
Ping of Death – You bet, as the name implies, the famous DDoS attacks that this bad boy performs will ping your server to death! Picture a child constantly bugging their parents like this, can I get that, can I get that, and the child does that thousands of times within a short period of time. Eventually the parent will get agitated and begin to break down in temper. Ok, enough of my horrible analogy.
HTTP Flood – If you notice the http in your computers URL, that’s what this is referring too. This type of DDoS attack exploits http in where it forces the servers application to overload on using its resources to respond to every single request one at a time.
NTP Amplification – NTP creates a high bandwidth, high volume attack. Ultimately it will over load the connection.
Zero Day– Zero Day is new and exploits any vulnerabilities which are not patched yet. Update your computer and equipment whenever there is a firmware update and you will be fine.
Now that you have been schooled on what denial of service attacks are, lets talk about some of the most famous DDoS attacks. That is what the title says after all, and what you clicked on to come here and read isn’t it? So let’s get moving!
3 Most Famous DDoS Attacks Explained:
1 – Scientologist Church Gets Hit Hard By Anonymous!
A well known and reputable hacktivist group that calls themselves Anonymous attacked the Church of Scientology in a major DDoS attack. This attack took place on January 8, 2008 and was called Project Chanology.
The denial of service attack that was deployed was well coordinated using a software program that was used to fight for Wikileaks. The program was able to shut down the Scientologist church website momentarily.
The DDoS attack was meant to be a protest against the Church of Scientology’s philosophies and practices. Anonymous felt that Scientologist were trying to cover up and remove a published interview with the famous actor Tom Cruise, who is a advocate and practitioner of the Scientology Church.
This internet censorship from the Church of Scientologist led to Anonymous ultimate decision to attack this organization with a highly organized DDoS attack.
2 – Hong Kong’s Democracy Movement Flustered
This attack does not deal with anything U.S. related. This story shows that DDoS attacks can occur world wide to foreign governments and corporations as alike.
A grassroots moment located in Hong Kong wanted to bring destruction to the Chinese government back in June 2014. This movement is called Occupy Central. They organized one of the biggest and most famous DDoS attacks in history.
Occupy Central used this DDoS attack against the Chinese government because they wanted a one man one vote system when electing officials to represent political office. At the time, the government didn’t allow for such a voting system. Only 1,200 members apart of an election committee were allowed to vote on who would be the next political leader.
This all led Occupy Central to push their DDoS attack forward and brought down a major political website.
3 – The Largest DDoS Attack In History!
So far this next story is considered to be the largest DDoS attack in history yet.
Back on December 31st, 2015, on New Years Eve a hacker group who is calling themselves the New World Hacking took responsibly for this huge DDoS attack. They were capable of disrupting BBC’s global website, along with Donald Trumps website as well.
BBC’s sites including the iPlayer, which is an on demand service was taken down through the DDoS attack for at least three hours or more. BBC reported that the lack of response from their services was because of technical issues. However, these were no technical issues, but the well crafted and highly organized work coming from the hands of the New World Hacking group.
The tool that was used to deploy these attacks is called BangStresser. This was capable of launching an attack of up to 602 Gbps on BBC’s website. This is a huge! Again this is considered the biggest DDoS attack yet.
As you can all see, DDoS attacks are no joke in the world of getting hacked. This technique is highly sought after by hackers to use in their arsenal of internet weapons.
DDoS attack can destroy businesses and even the reputation of governments. What do you think about DDoS attacks? Do you have any stories to share? Please tell us more and leave comments below.