I don't know if you've noticed, but Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) has taken the spotlight on center stage of this 3-ring circus we call the Internet.
If you don't know what a DDoS is, I suggest you go give Wikipedia a quick read, and maybe get WiFi in the cave.
What used to be a nuisance, and let's face it DDoS started out as a nuisance, has turned into an interesting and powerful weapon. Tools like LOIC which is released by "Anonymous" and the OWASP tool that essentially does a similar task against web servers using slow header payloads are brutal. These can cause serious outages and down web servers and entire sites, or even web farms.
Let's talk impact
- Full pipe - a DDoS can fill your network pipe with junk traffic and effectively cut you off from the rest of the Internet
- Overloaded server - a DDoS can actually completely overwhelm a piece of hardware, and cause the machine to die
- Overloaded server - a DDoS can also overwhelm poorly (actually even no-so poorly) written software to completely stop responding and die
- Software zombie - an interesting condition recently uncovered where a server is still completely responsive to other requests except that legitimate requests for targeted sites returning nothing at all
- Huge bill - That's right, imagine paying for your Internet pipe by the megabyte... then you get a 100Mbit/sec flood for 12 straight hours ... you could go broke trying to pay that bill!
- Bad PR - Imagine if you're launching a super-cool online game that some kid gets mad at and takes down your servers ...ouch!
So DDoS is a very versatile tool - and with literally millions and millions of zombie machines out there - maybe even YOURS - the attacker agents are plentiful. I wonder what the horizon holds for DDoS attacks ...it could be interesting.