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A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is defined as an attempt by malicious actor to overwhelm a targeted server, website, or network with a flood of internet traffic.
Most often this takes the shape of a machine or network becoming unavailable to users for a period of time through the systematic disruption services of a host connected to the Internet.
These attacks are most effective when multiple compromised computer systems and other internet-connected devices are exploited as sources of this traffic.
The most common technique to facilitate a DDoS attack is by overwhelming a machine or network with redundant requests in a bid to tax or overload systems.
In doing so, the network is unable to process some or all legitimate requests from being fulfilled.
In order to gain control of computers and other devices, an attacker will infect them with malware.
The malware turns the devices into “bots” that can be controlled remotely by the attacker. A group of these bots is called a “botnet.”
DDoS Against Cryptos
DDoS attacks are not a crypto-only phenomenon, which is where they receive the most attention. These attacks can also be perpetrated on web servers such as banks or credit card payment gateways.
Within the cryptocurrency space, DDoS attacks occur most commonly when an attacker wants to slow down transactions on a network or to block users from a token sale.
For example, an attacker could use a botnet to send hundreds (or even thousands) of miniscule transactions across the Bitcoin network, causing a “traffic jam” that could result in transactions taking hours to confirm.
There are several defensive techniques used to combat DDoS attacks. These typically involve the utilization of a combination of traffic classification, attack detection, and responsive tools.
Consequently, their function is blocking traffic screened as illegitimate, while simultaneously allowing traffic that is perceived as legitimate.