Denial-of-service attack - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


** Denial-of-service attack **

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"DoS" redirects here. For other uses, see DOS (disambiguation).
DDoS Stacheldraht Attack diagram.

In computing, a *denial-of-service attack* (*DoS attack*) or *distributed
denial-of-service attack* (*DDoS attack*) is an attempt to make a machine
or network resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the means
to carry out, motives for, and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it
generally consists of efforts to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or
suspend services of a host connected to the Internet.

Perpetrators of DoS attacks typically target sites or services hosted on
high-profile web servers such as banks, credit card payment gateways, and
even root nameservers. This technique has now seen extensive use in certain
games, used by server owners, or disgruntled competitors on games.
Increasingly, DoS attacks have also been used as a form of resistance.
Richard Stallman has stated that DoS is a form of 'Internet Street
Protests’.^[1] The term is generally used relating to computer
networks, but is not limited to this field; for example, it is also used in
reference to CPU resource management.^[2]

One common method of attack involves saturating the target machine with
external communications requests, so much so that it cannot respond to
legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered essentially
unavailable. Such attacks usually lead to a server overload. In general
terms, DoS attacks are implemented by either forcing the targeted
computer(s) to reset, or consuming its resources so that it can no longer
provide its intended service or obstructing the communication media between
the intended users and the victim so that they can no longer communicate

Denial-of-service attacks are considered violations of the Internet
Architecture Board's Internet proper


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