What Is a Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attack?
A Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack is a type of cyberattack that attempts to make an online service or network unavailable by flooding it with traffic from multiple sources. The goal of the attacker is to overwhelm the target system’s resources, making it unable to respond to legitimate requests for services. DoS attacks can be used as a form of protest against organizations and websites, or they can be used maliciously in order to disrupt business operations and cause financial losses.
DoS attacks are typically carried out using botnets—networks of computers infected with malware that allow attackers to control them remotely. Attackers use these bots to send large amounts of data requests simultaneously, overwhelming the target server’s capacity and preventing it from responding properly. In some cases, attackers may also attempt distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks which involve sending data requests from multiple locations at once in order to increase their effectiveness. DDoS attacks have become increasingly common due to their ability to generate massive amounts of traffic quickly and easily without requiring much technical knowledge on behalf of the attacker.