There are different ways in which computing systems are attacked by hackers. The type of attack employed will depend on the goal and resources of the hacker. Some hackers try to disrupt the computer networks while others try to infiltrate the systems and utilize their resources for nefarious purposes such as conducting more attacks are sending spam mails. Other hackers steal sensitive information such as credit card numbers etc. for financial gain.
The main 3 computer network attack techniques are:
Denial of Service or DOS
Denial of service or DOS attacks are the simplest network attacking techniques to implement. The goal of this attack technique is to disrupt a server by overloading it with a large number of requests. This type of attack can be as simple as loading thousands of webpages simultaneously from a website or sending ping messages many times over.
It is very easy to prevent denial of service attacks. If the source of the attack is identified and blocked, it will bring the attack under control. Simple denial of service attacks are not very damaging. In many cases, they’re not even disruptive because of faster networks.
Distributed Denial of Service or DDOS
This is an advanced form of DOS. DDOS attacks are somewhat complicated to implement and can also be very difficult to control. Even very large websites such as MasterCard and PayPal have fallen to DDOS attacks in recent years. In this type of attack, the attacker controls a large number of infected computers which are made to send requests simultaneously. Since a large number of requests are made at the same time, the servers get overwhelmed and crashes result. It is difficult to control because of the large number of computers involved. However, there are sophisticated hardware that can detect and prevent distributed denial of service attacks.
As the name suggests, in this type of attack the hacker will intrude the computer through the Internet. Hackers usually use software vulnerabilities to gain control of the computer’s resources. Weakly secured computers are often targets to intrusion attacks. Intrusion attacks can be prevented to using a good firewall and taking other precautionary measures.
Denial of service attacks are merely disruptive but intrusion attacks are more damaging. For this reason, it is essential to take precautionary measures to secure your computer. Always use strong passwords and encrypt sensitive data. At the same time, it is also advisable to update your software regularly and apply all the patches and hot fixes. You should also use a good quality antivirus software which should be updated on a daily basis.
About the Author: Aditya Venkatesh is a computer-enthusiast who is fascinated by computer technology, gadgets and the Internet. He writes frequently on computers and other topics on www.AdiWebs.com. In the past, he worked as a technical writer at a leading web development company in Hyderabad, India. His other interests include photography and DIY projects.