How to DDoS? Seven Common DDoS Attack Tools

What are DDoS and DoS attacks?

Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are malicious attempts to disrupt online services by flooding them with massive amounts of traffic from multiple sources.

What are DDoS and DoS attack tools?

Common DDoS attack tools include tools for IP address spoofing, Ping of Death, ICMP, UDP flood and DNS flood attack, amplification attacks, TCP SYN flood, HTTP flood, reflection attacks, volumetric attacks, and connection-based attacks.

DDoS attack tools are used by attackers to exploit vulnerable networks, systems, and applications, usually for financial gain or political motivation. They can range from simple scripts that target a single server to sophisticated bots and botnets. DDoS attack tools are designed to flood victim’s systems with excessive amounts of traffic from multiple sources.

Amplification attacks are one of the most common types of DDoS attacks and leverage vulnerable network protocols to amplify the amount of traffic sent to a target service or device. In an amplification attack, the attacker sends out a small query.

Application layer (L7) attack tools

Application layer (Layer 7) attacks are a type of DDoS attack that target applications and services that constitute the Layer 7 of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. These attacks take advantage of non-firewall protected services such as HTTP, FTP, and SMTP to flood an application with malicious requests or data.

Low and slow attack tools, instead of flooding the target with a large amount of traffic all at once, utilize a much smaller and slower rate of traffic over an extended period. This type of attack uses less bandwidth to bypass detection methods such as firewall rules, rate limiters, and other security measures.

Slowloris, a type of DDoS attack tool, works by flooding a server with incomplete HTTP requests. The attacks are designed to exploit the limited number of connections that web servers can support and the time it takes for the server to close them. In a Slowloris attack, malicious actors send numerous partial requests to the targeted server, preventing legitimate users from being able to access it.

R.U.D.Y (R-U-Dead-Yet?) is another application layer attack tool that works by sending lot of small packets at a slow rate with the HTTP header “Content-Length” set to a large number to prevent the web or application server from closing the connection.

Protocol and transport layer (L3/L4) attack tools

Attackers may use UDP floods to overwhelm web servers and host port under attack. The receiving host checks unreachable applications and ports (sent by design by the attacker) associated with these datagrams and responds back with a “Destination Unreachable” response packet. The attackers may also spoof the return IP address making it unreachable as well. As more and more such packets are received, the host becomes unresponsive to other client requests.

Common DDoS Attack Tools

Many DDoS attack tools such as HTTP Unbearable Load King (HULK), Slowloris, PyLoris, DAVOSET, GodenEye, Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) HTTP Post, Low Orbit ION Cannon (LOIC), High Orbit ION Cannon (HOIC), Xoic, Tor’s Hammer, DDoSSIM (DDoS Simulator) and RUDY (R-U-Dead-Yet) are freely available.

Mitigating DDoS Attack Threats

Traditional security measures such as firewalls with ACLs and static signature based protections are not enough to protect against sophisticated DDoS attacks. Many of these attacks target applications and services at the application layer (Layer 4-7) of the OSI model, exploiting non-firewall protected services such as HTTP, FTP, and SMTP.

Attacks that consume resources of stateful devices that need to maintain information and the state of each client connection require solutions to minimize allocated resources as close to completion of the three-way handshake.

One of the most important steps in mitigating against DDoS attack threats is to ensure that all networks and systems are regularly updated and patched with the latest security updates.

Best practices for security networks and applications include changing passwords frequently, regularly scanning for vulnerabilities and patching any vulnerabilities that are found, deploying anti-malware, DDoS protection solutions and services, and deploying web application firewalls (WAFs) with up-to-date access control lists.

Tools that provide real-time monitoring capabilities for detecting malicious requests or data before they reach your application or service are desirable so that you can take action quickly to mitigate any potential damage.

Radware DDoS protection (DefensePro, Cloud DDoS Protection Service) and application delivery (Alteon) solutions mitigate network and application DDoS attacks by using approaches that block attacks without impacting legitimate traffic. By using machine-learning and behavioral-based algorithms, Radware can understand what constitutes a legitimate behavior profile and then automatically block malicious attacks. This increases protection accuracy while minimizing false positives.

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