What Is A DDoS Attack? How Does It Work? [DDoS Meaning]

Protect yourself from these attacks.


If you have been on the internet long enough, you must have heard of a DDoS attack. DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service, but what is the meaning of a DDoS attack?

It is one of the favorite tools used by hackers to disrupt an online service. It is one of the most common cyber attacks many services face.

Recently, there has been tremendous growth in such attacks. More and more companies are facing security issues due to rampant attacks.

DDoS Meaning: What is DDoS?

In simple terms, a DDoS attack attempts to make an online service/website unavailable by flooding it with tons of traffic from different sources. Hacktivists and other online groups use these attacks to fulfill their motives by hiding behind a storm of HTTP requests.

With exponential growth in internet usage, cyber vandalism and hacktivism have become more prominent, and organizations regularly face such attacks.


How does a DDoS attack work?

The attacker makes a network of infected systems (botnets) by spreading malicious emails and software. This infects many systems (IoT devices) to form a more extensive network. After that, all of the infected devices in the network are used to attack other services.

This bombards the targeted service with a flood of Internet traffic. Most internet services can’t handle such an influx of traffic. Their servers can only accommodate traffic up to a certain limit. Once the servers reach their maximum capacity, it results in a denial-of-service to normal traffic (503 error).

How to identify a DDoS attack?

There are several ways one can identify an attack quite early on. The following are some of the symptoms you will see in an attack.

  • Slow network performance
  • Unavailability of a particular website or page.
  • Huge amount of traffic coming from a single IP address/range.
  • Odd traffic patterns (timings)
  • Traffic coming from a common device type or geolocation.

How to protect against an attack?

There are several ways to get DDoS protection to protect your website. The following are some measures you can take to reduce the risk and impact of an attack.

  • Identify the attack early
  • Have high levels of network security
  • Rely on multiple distributed servers
  • Monitor your network’s traffic
  • Have the DDoS response plan ready
  • In case of attack, call Your ISP Or hosting provider
  • Limit network broadcasting
  • Use cloud DDoS mitigation

DDoS attacks are also becoming more and more commonplace. Experts say the average number of annual DDoS attempts will rise to 15.4 million by 2023. Being prepared for such attacks should be on top of everyone’s security priorities. Share the article if you find the information helpful.

If you like this simple explainer, check out our Short Bytes section. We take complex tech topics and break them into short, easy-to-understand articles.

Nalin Rawat

Nalin Rawat

Nalin is a tech writer who covers VR, gaming, awesome new gadgets, and the occasional trending affairs of the tech industry. He has been writing about tech and gaming since he started pursuing Journalism in college. He has also previously worked in print organizations like The Statesman and Business Standard. In his free time, he plays FPS games and explores virtual reality. Reach out to him at @NalinRawat
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