Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS)

What is a DDoS attack?

A DDoS attack is when multiple compromised systems send a lot of requests or traffic to a target (ex. server, website, or other network resource) and cause the target to become paralyzed.

How does a DDoS attack occur?

ICMP Flood

Another common flood-type of attack that uses any number of ICMP echo requests, or pings, to overload the victim’s network. For each ping sent, a reciprocal one containing the same number of packets is supposed to be returned. The targeted system attempts to respond to the countless requests, eventually clogging its own network bandwidth.

Ping of Death

Is a method by which hackers send abnormal or inflated packets (by way of pinging) to freeze, destabilize or crash a targeted system or service. Memory overflow occurs when it tries to reconstruct oversized data packets. Not relegated to ping alone, attackers can use any IP datagram type to launch an attack, including ICMP, UDP, and TCP.

UDP Flood

A DDoS attack where an attacker overwhelms random ports on a target host. When the target tries large amounts of such requests to match the intended application, resources are used and a denial of service on the victim machine occurs.

DNS Amplification

This type of DDoS attack occurs when an attacker spoofs or fakes its IP address of the machine they are trying to attack. Typically, the attacker does this many time with multiple machines the they control (ex. botnet).

DNS Flood

Similar to a UDP flood but instead the hacker targets the DNS server and “floods” it with seemingly legitimate traffic to impede server resources and its ability to direct other legitimate requests.

HTTP Flood

A type of DDoS attack in which the attacker uses HTTP requests to target an application or web server with seemingly legitimate traffic. Such requests can be specially crafted by the attacker to avoid detection on a network to reach their intended targets.

Smurf Attack

This type of DDoS attack is where the attacker will spoof an IP address to the IP of the server they are targeting and then send requests to be broadcasted to all network hosts on a network.

How is a DDoS attack harmful to a business?

There are three main types of DDoS attacks which are network-centric, protocol attacks, and application layer attacks.

A network-centric DDoS attack will overwhelm the targeted network resource and consume virtually all of the available bandwidth in the business's network. Such an attack can cause connectivity issues, slow down the device and even shut it down altogether. Such interruptions in function can cause the attacked company massive financial and productivity losses during the period of downtime.

A protocol-centric DDoS attack will exploit a network's protocol flaws to overwhelm the network's valuable resources.

An application layer centric DDoS attack disguises maliciously crafted data packets disguised as normal network traffic to cause a denial of service to a legitimate application.

DDoS Statistics



of companies hit by DDoS attacks faced more than one attack.

  • In a recent study by Kaspersky Lab, half of all businesses reported growth of both the frequency and complexity every year.
  • Of organizations hit in 20% were very small businesses, 33% were SMB servers, and 41% were enterprises according to Kaspersky.

  • The frequency of DDoS attacks have increased over 2.5 times over the past 3 years.
  • The cost of a DDoS attack (according to recent security surveys) averages between $20,000 - $40,000 / hour.

How can Cyber Insurance protect against DDOS attacks?

DDoS attacks cause unnecessary slowdown and downtime for your business's network. The extent of protection insurance you need depends much on the size and nature of your business. A comprehensive business interruption coverage plan is part of most Cyber Insurance policies and will cover the loss of profits and any extra expenses stemming from a disruption of your business operations.

Get coverage

Running a business is challenging enough without having to worry about cyber liabilities and lawsuits. You are one click away from getting the vital coverage your business needs.