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Find out the 7 Main Types of DDOS Attacks

Types of DDOS Attacks

Nowadays, cybercriminals are repeatedly staging widespread Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDOS). Frequent DDOS attacks on websites and even cloud services are one of the reasons as to why cybersecurity is an important issue for companies and individuals. In this article I will try to explain the 7 most common types of DDOS attacks, let’s begin.

Types of DDOS Attacks
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7 Common Types of DDoS Attacks

Here are some of the most common types of DDOS attacks that criminals are using in the current times.

1. Application layer attacks

The basis of these types of attacks is that they interfere with the manner in which a server responds to requests. Typically, hackers use these kinds of attacks to cause a server to concentrate on a single request and ignore the rest. Interestingly, the request in question is usually malicious in nature. Hence, criminals use malware to mislead a target server to concentrate on a fake request and ignore the genuine ones.

2. User Datagram Protocol (UDP) attacks

Under this type of attack, hackers jam a server by sending a large amount of UDP packets to specific ports of the server. The hackers use different devices that form a large botnet. When this happens, a target server constantly attempts to address the packets at its various ports. In so doing, the server fails to respond to genuine traffic from users. As a result, users experience very slow services from the server.

3. Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) attacks

At times, criminals may use ICMP messages to cripple the operations of a server. As it is the case with UDP flooding attacks, criminals use other computers to overburden a target server. Therefore, first, hackers have to identify and take control of some computers. They use sophisticated software to command the army of computers to send fake ICMP messages to a target server. The server, while trying to respond to the fake requests, fails to respond to legitimate requests from real users.

4. Protocol attacks

In this form of attack, hackers send an overload of requests to a particular component of the network infrastructure. Typically, hackers can send a huge amount of defragmented pings to a specific server. When this happens, a server attempts to respond to the abnormal request by assembling the pings. As a result of this, the server wastes its bandwidth and other resources on useless requests and ends up failing to address valid requests.

5. Zero-Day attacks

Under zero-day attacks, hackers take advantage of a flaw in a system to attack a server and cripple services successfully. The secret of this attack is that hackers are constantly looking for flaws in systems. When they discover a particular flaw, they try to take advantage of it within the shortest time possible and cause maximum damage.

Therefore, even when administrators discover a flaw in a system, it becomes practically impossible to fix the flaw and avoid the DDOS attack. The nature and effectiveness of this type of attack are other reasons as to why you need to protect your website against hackers.

6. SYN Flood attack

SYN flood attacks occur when multiple machines send requests for synchronising to a target server. In practice, devices communicate with servers by sending genuine requests for synchronising. The server then responds by sending back a message acknowledging the request to sync. Hackers usually exploit this process when carrying out this type of attack.

They use a botnet to send an abnormally high number of SYN messages to a target server. The server, unable to verify the requests, attempts to respond to all of them at once by sending ACK messages. The result is that the server fails to function properly.

7. Reflected attack

This is one of the most interesting types of DDOS attacks. Hackers first gain control of some computers. Gaining control over computers is the basis of all DDOS attacks. Once servers can remotely control computers, they then launch their preferred type of attack.

In this case, hackers send a specific message to the computers which they can control. The computers then attempt to communicate at once. Interestingly, since the computers need to communicate with a specific server to respond to the toxic message, they end up flooding the server.


In conclusion, there are very many other types of DDOS attacks. The types differ in terms of the motivation that the hackers have. Also, different types of attacks differ from each other because hackers use different methods to launch them. However, these seven are the most common types of DDOS attacks.

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