Understanding Different Types of DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks can severely disrupt the functioning of websites and online services. Here’s a detailed look at various types of DDoS attacks:

1. Application Level Attacks

Application-level DDoS attacks target specific applications or poorly coded websites, exploiting vulnerabilities to take down entire servers. Commonly targeted platforms include WordPress and Joomla. These attacks exhaust server resources such as RAM and CPU, making it unavailable to process legitimate requests. Additionally, databases can be targeted with SQL injections, exploiting security loopholes to steal information or overload the server.

For example, SQL Injection attacks manipulate SQL queries to gain unauthorized access to databases, leading to data breaches and server crashes.

2. Zero Day (0day) DDoS

Zero Day DDoS attacks exploit new vulnerabilities that have not yet been patched or adequately defended against. These attacks are named for the fact that they occur on “day zero” of awareness about the vulnerability, leaving no time for the creation of defensive measures. Such attacks can be devastating as they leverage unknown and unmitigated weaknesses in systems.

Read more about Zero Day attacks here.

3. Ping Flood

An evolved form of the ICMP flood, the Ping Flood targets servers by sending a high volume of spoofed Ping packets from numerous source IP addresses. The goal is to overwhelm the server’s network bandwidth and resources until it shuts down. This type of attack can easily resemble legitimate traffic, making it difficult to detect and mitigate.

For a deeper dive into Ping Flood attacks, visit this page.

4. IP Null Attack

In an IP Null Attack, attackers set the IPv4 header’s Transport Protocol field to zero, allowing the packets to bypass security measures that typically scan for TCP, IP, and ICMP. When the target server processes these packets, its resources are gradually exhausted, leading to a reboot or shutdown.

Explore more about IP Null Attacks here.

5. Spoofed Session Flood

Spoofed Session Flood attacks use a mix of SYN, ACK, RST, or FIN packets to mimic valid TCP sessions, bypassing security mechanisms that only monitor incoming traffic. This attack exhausts the target’s resources, leading to system shutdowns or unacceptable performance levels.

Learn about session spoofing here.

6. UDP Flood

UDP Flood attacks inundate a server with UDP packets, exploiting the stateless nature of the UDP protocol, which lacks an end-to-end communication process. A large number of spoofed UDP packets from various source IPs aim to consume all available bandwidth and resources, leading to a network outage.

For more on UDP Flood attacks, visit this page.

7. UDP Fragmentation Flood

In a UDP Fragmentation Flood, larger fragmented packets are sent to the target server, aiming to exhaust bandwidth with fewer packets. These fragmented packets appear legitimate, making the attack hard to detect. When the server tries to reassemble these packets, it fails, exhausting its resources and possibly causing a reboot.

Read more about UDP Fragmentation Floods here.

8. DNS Flood

A DNS Flood targets DNS servers using spoofed DNS request packets that mimic legitimate requests. The attack floods the DNS server, consuming all available bandwidth and resources, rendering the server unable to process genuine requests.

For an in-depth understanding of DNS Flood attacks, check this article.

9. VoIP Flood

VoIP Flood attacks target VoIP servers with spoofed VoIP request packets, overloading the server’s resources and bandwidth. This leads to performance degradation or server reboots. Fixed source IP attacks within this category are particularly hard to detect due to their legitimate appearance.

Explore more about VoIP Flood attacks here.

10. Media Data Flood

Similar to VoIP floods, Media Data Flood attacks use spoofed media data packets (audio and video) to overwhelm a server. The attack consumes all server resources and network bandwidth, leading to server performance issues or shutdowns. These attacks are challenging to detect, especially when using fixed source IP addresses.

For more information on Media Data Flood attacks, visit this link.


Understanding these various types of DDoS attacks is crucial for implementing effective defensive strategies. By staying informed about the latest attack vectors and maintaining robust security measures, organizations can better protect their digital assets from such disruptive threats.

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