Understanding Denial-of-Service Attacks
RFC 4732 Internet Denial-of-Service Considerations
A denial-of-service attack (DoS attack) or distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the means to, motives for and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it generally comprises the concerted, malevolent efforts of a person or persons to prevent an Internet site or service from functioning efficiently or at all, temporarily or indefinitely.
One common method of attack involves saturating the target (victim) machine with external communications requests, such that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered effectively unavailable. In general terms, DoS attacks are implemented by:
* forcing the targeted computer(s) to reset, or consume its resources such that it can no longer provide its intended service; and/or,
* obstructing the communication media between the intended users and the victim so that they can no longer communicate adequately.
Denial-of-service attacks are considered violations of the IAB's Internet proper use policy. They also commonly constitute violations of the laws of individual nations.