How might one explain the meaning of “DDoS” to a less tech-savvy individual?


How might one explain the meaning of “DDoS” to a less tech-savvy individual?

In: Technology

DDoS is like a Black Friday sale. You just wanted to pop to the shop for some milk but now you can’t because thousands of other people are preventing you getting in.

10,000 people are talking to you at the same time and you have to answer all of them immediately.

Your local pizza shop has a phone line. Normal ppl call in and order their pizza and hang up, leaving it available for other ppl.

DoS stands for denial of service. The actor is denying the service to other users. One guy calls the pizza shop and doesn’t hang up. The shop owner hangs up on him but he just calls right back. He’s using a computer to dial the shop phone number continuously 24/7. Other ppl that want to call for a pizza get a busy signal. The pizza ordering service is denied.

Shop owner gets fed up with this cause he’s loosing business. He calls the phone company and tells them this guy needs to be shut off. Phone company shuts off the assholes phone. Shop owner and pizza eaters are relieved.

Asshole throws a hissy fit. He builds a computer program to hijack phone from all over the world and call the pizza shop. Phone company can’t shut off phones from other places other countries. The service is denied from a distributed source.

Ever seen film of shoppers trying to get through the doors of the shops on black Friday to get the best deals, several hundred people trying to push through a narrow door all at the same time result in it becoming blocked. Well computer servers still do also have a limited capacity for allowing thousands of people through the “doors” at the same time, but if hundreds of thousands of people try to access the same servers at the same time the server also becomes blocked and people can’t get through the doorway.

DOS stands for “denial of service”, meaning a type of cyberattack intended to obstruct access to a site or online service. The extra D stands for distributed meaning the attack is coming from multiple sources(Botnets).

The attack itself typically involves spamming a server with massive amounts of pointless requests. Which prevents the server from replying to legitimate users.

Imagine if starting tomorrow, every day you received 10,000 blank letters in the mail in legitimate looking envelopes. It would make it completely impossible for you to reply to your actual mail.

Its like pouring water down a drain. If you pour enough water, fast enough, the drain can’t keep up and the sink overflows. That’s what denial of service does, it prevent anyone else from fitting through the pipe because someone else has overflowed it.

you’re sitting in your house, minding
your own business, and bus after bus
of chinese tourists pull up and the
hoard besieges your front door.

The internet consists of computers (servers) that receive requests for data from one or more other computers (clients). Computers are machines with finite resources – particularly regarding processing power, memory, and network bandwidth. There is always a limit to how many requests the server can process within a given time. When the limit is reached, it may cause delays processing requests, ignore further connections, drop existing connections, or cause the server to stop responding entirely.

A DoS (Denial of Service) attack is a deliberate, malicious attempt to reach this limit by sending many requests, or requests specially crafted to tie up resources, from a single machine.

A DDos (Distributed DoS) attack is the same thing, but using many machines to send the requests. Since the attack comes from many machines, it can be harder to stop attacks since it may be hard to tell which requests are legitimate or not. In fact you may not even necessarily know it’s an attack, it could just be a lot of legitimate users.