What is a DOS Attack?
DOS attacks or “denial-of-service” attacks refer to efforts done by certain people to stop or slow-down a particular service of a given website. These attacks may also be aimed at websites just to show-off and do a prank, while others intend for some serious damage to the particular company maintaining the website.
Usually what happens is that a particular website won’t be able to function normally and efficiently if “attacked” by a person or groups of persons. Like in the case of websites wherein users are required to log in, sometimes what happens is that the user won’t be able to log in even if he/she has given the correct authentication password to enter the particular site or to avail a service on the site. In some cases, the website’s default home page won’t display at all. Users will just get a message prompt that the particular site cannot be accessed at that particular time. Others also experience a very slow response from websites. Sometimes it takes several minutes for a particular webpage to execute just one click on an item.
DOS attacks are usually done in two ways. The first method is attacking the main computer or server for it to shut down or force it to reboot and reset. In this way, users won’t be able to successfully access the “attacked” website. Another method is through a “flooding” technique. In this way, the sites resources are attacked so that the service will be slowed or put to a halt. In this way, illegitimate traffic will be forced on the sites’ servers forcing the site to respond to the requests that are bogus. Legitimate users meanwhile will be left out with a very slow site or server response, with some not being able to access the site at all.
DOS attacks are illegal and are a violation to the Internet proper use policy of the Internet Architecture Board. But despite existing rules on this issue, many websites today, especially high-profile ones continue to become the targets of computer hackers.