Frequently Asked Question - What Are Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks?


Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks are a type of malicious cyberattack with the sole purpose of disabling a targeted device or service. By overloading services or machines with data, the receiving side becomes overwhelmed and services are rendered useless. This can be done in multiple different ways and are all threats to a business without proper protection and security.

FAQs: What Are Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks?

Denial of Service attacks can have lasting impacts on a business, such as email security breaches, system crashes, and data loss. We've answered your most pressing FAQs about Denial of Services attacks so you can prepare yourself for any risk that heads your company's way.

What is a Denial of Service Attack? How Do DoS Attacks Work?

Denial of Service (DoS) attacks focus on disabling targeted devices and services on a server. This type of malicious coding overloads machines and services with too much data. If the platform is too overwhelmed and bulked down by data, it cannot provide the assistance it should, leaving your organization struggling to perform daily operations. Most DoS attacks stem from misconfigured email protection software and exposing cybersecurity vulnerabilities to risks. Such email security threats can cause significant downtime, reputational harm, and data loss within a business.

What Are the Most Common Denial of Service Attacks?

DoS email security issues come in various forms, but these are the most prevalent threat types that could cross your server: buffer overflow, flood, DDoS, and email bomb attacks.

Buffer Overflow Attacks

During a buffer overflow attack, cybercriminals target disk and drive space, where the computer's memory and Central Processing Unit (CPU) are located. In a standard attack, buffer overflows create system crashes, sluggish and slow interactions, and the "blue screen of death."

Flood Attacks

A threat actor will use a flood attack to overload systems through network packets with user data and control information. Cybercriminals repeatedly send the packers to a sender until they overwhelm the bandwidth, overwhelming the target and causing the server to crash. There are two different flood attack types:

  • ICMP floods target every computer on a network rather than just one device by replicating fake variations of packets that cybercriminals use to ping multiple victims at once. The “ping of death” results from this attack, where the threat actor triggers the entire network, amplifying the impact of email security breaches.
  • SYN floods send targeted server requests that can never be met. The requests will keep showing up for a victim, but the connection attempts will fail, keeping legitimate users from accessing the system.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, utilizes dozens of computers to overload a system rather than just using one device, which the other attacks do. All malicious coding stems from a botnet, or the collection of devices, where cybercriminals embed the devices with malware that can download itself and infect an entire system.

Email Bombs

Email bombs initiate from botnets and focus on emailing large groups of people. These messages have malicious coding and links embedded into the email, triggering terabytes of information that make a victim's software useless.

How Can I Protect Against DoS Attacks?

There are various ways to prevent Denial of Service cyberattacks, and email security is even more critical now than ever. Businesses must consider installing an effective supplementary email protection option to implement best practices for email security and combat email threats before they reach the inbox.

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