Have you ever gone to your favorite website only to find that it’s down and you can’t access it? So you think that maybe something is wrong with your computer and you call your friend only to find out they can’t access it either. If this has happened to you, don’t worry it’s usually not related to your computer but the problem lies with the server the website is hosted on.
There are many reasons why a website can be down. It could be some sort of misconfiguration of the server or a network problem. But it could also be a DDos Attack. DDoS is an acronym for distributed denial of service attack. It happens when lots of computers request something from a server eventually causing the server to crash and the website to go down. There is really nothing good about a denial of service attack and can be devastating to a website.
A server in most cases can not be taken offline by one computer alone, it usually takes many computers, even up in the millions of computers to bring down a large site. These distributed attacks are very hard trace since most of the computers that are doing the attack have owners that are not even aware of what their computer is doing. Their system is taken over by a virus or Trojan and is under the control of the attacker not the owner of the computer. Once the attacker has enough computers under their control they launch an attack at a specific time and all the drone computers send requests to the target website. Doing so is like trying to open all the word documents you have on your computer at once. This usually causes the computer to crash. You can protect yourself and not let your computer be one of these drones that attack another website. One way you can do this is by having an updated antivirus running at all times. Do regular scans of your computer to look for viruses that may have you infected. Also run a spyware and malware scan to help protect you.