Root Server Security: Detection and Protection Against DDoS Attacks

Root Server Security: Detection and Protection Against DDoS Attacks

Although the servers of large companies or even entire government are often the targets of DDoS attacks, however, private websites and servers can and are attacked daily with the help of such methods. DDoS stands for "Distributed Denial of Service" and thus describes relatively precisely what effects can be expected, namely the (for users) total failure of the service (website, cloud computing, NAS, etc.).

How does a DDoS attack work?

In principle, DDoS attacks always aim to overload the infrastructure of the destination. To achieve this, one can, for example, exploit the special behaviour patterns of various Internet protocols (Exploit), connect an unexpectedly high number of clients with the server that it is not designed to handle (bandwidth congestion) or generate a high number of HTTP requests that require high performance and thus overload the server itself (resource overload). Fewer clients are enough for DDoS attacks on smaller servers, but with increased performance, more and more resources are needed, which is why many attackers misuse so-called botnets for distribution. DDoS attacks are often used as a means of pressure but it can also be just a distraction for a background attack that has completely different goals, such as stealing sensitive data. Because not infrequently, the firewall is overloaded by the attacks and denied their service in whole or in part.

Detection of a DDoS attack

In most cases, DDoS attacks are only recognized as such when it is too late and the server is already failing the service. This is partly due to the insane speed - a coordinated attack takes ideally only seconds - but also because fluctuations, for example, in terms of traffic, are initially not perceived as an attack. Nevertheless, such a "peak", i.e. a rapid increase in connected clients or inbound requests, is almost always a sign of an approaching or already beginning DDoS attack. A good clue is also the server logs. If the same clients keep coming back every few minutes or even every second, they are already talking about unusual traffic, which should be monitored closely.

Avoid DDoS Attacks - How to Protect Your Server

With DDoS attacks becoming one of the most commonly used types of attacks on third-party systems; there are a number of specialized services and methods available to avert DDoS attacks, or at least reduce them as much as possible. One of the simplest methods is to filter out traffic via a firewall. This effectively blocks entire networks, but it's not hard to bypass this lock with an IP mask.

For additional protection, equip Virtual Root and Dedicated Root Servers with on-premise solutions. These can be hardware or software solutions that analyze traffic and filter out unusual requests and permanently ban them. Depending on the offer, such solutions can be installed directly by the hoster, but then run on the same infrastructure as the server itself and are therefore less suitable for flood attacks, for example.

Cloud services specialized in DDoS protection are currently the safest method: Here, "On Premise" is combined with various cloud services. The result is good software or even employees monitoring, who can immediately initiate countermeasures on traffic peaks and, in extreme cases, redirect "waste traffic" too strong multi-hundred gigabit lines. DDoS attacks cannot be prevented; the bad traffic is merely redirected, so even well-secured root servers are not completely safe from large botnets.

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