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What is a DDoS Attack?

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Cyber-attack warning sign

A distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) is an online fraud scam that can impact the load speed of a website, specifically websites of banks and financial institutions. DDoS attacks occur when multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system.

Think about it like driving in traffic: you’re driving on the highway, and more and more cars come on to the road. Eventually, traffic slows to a crawl. That’s what a DDoS attack does – cybercriminals flood a network with so much traffic that it cannot operate or communicate as it normally would.[1]

This type of attack has been caused by individual hackers and entire organizations alike. Scammers flood a website with millions of requests of information at once creating a “traffic jam” which limits the ability for customers to access their online banking. They can easily target unstable systems and effectively flood all available bandwidth on the site.

The system will likely respond more slowly than usual, but will not affect the security of the website or banking systems. DDoS attacks do not compromise any personal or private information, even if the site is slower or disabled altogether. The perpetrators are seeking to make the site unavailable to the user base and disrupt regular trade.

Common symptoms of a DDoS attack

  1. Unusually slow network performance (opening files or accessing web sites).
  2. Inability to access a website.
  3. Disconnection of a wireless or wired internet connection.
  4. Long-term denial of access to the web or any internet services.

How to prevent a DDoS Attack

Secure your router

Change the default password on your router to a new one to secure your network. There are also security solutions that can be embedded into your router to manage and protect your network.

Change your passwords on IoT devices

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a system of interrelated, internet-connected objects that are able to collect and transfer data over a wireless network without human intervention. Make sure to change your usernames and passwords on any IoT devices in order to keep you safe from an attack.

Use comprehensive security

Consider purchasing a comprehensive security solution which can help to secure your devices from multiple types of malware.

If you believe you are a victim of a DDoS attack, report the problem to the hosting provider. If you suspect that a crime is being committed, report the occurrence to law enforcement.


[1] What is a DDoS Attack and How Does it Work?, McAfee


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