Understanding and Preventing DDoS Attacks - Page 3

 By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
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Deflecting DDoS Attacks

So what can you do as an administrator about DDoS threats? For starters, all the usual security basics can help. You know the drill: make sure you have a firewall set up that aggressively keeps everything out except legal traffic, keep your anti-viral software up to date lest your computers become a home for DDoS agents like TFN, and keep your network software up to date with current security patches. This won't stop all DDoS attacks, but it will stop some of them like Smurfing.

You should also keep yourself current on the latest DDoS developments. The best site for this is the University of Washington hosted Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks/tools site.

There is no silver bullet for DDoS attacks. Several companies, such as Arbor Networks, Mazu Networks, and netZentry offer programs and services that can help you manage DDoS assaults.

Essentially, these corporate approaches consist of intense real-time monitoring of your network looking for telltale signs of incoming DDoS attacks. These give you a chance to harden your network or even switch to another ISP provider in an attempt to dodge a DDoS attack. For example, Riverhead actually diverts DDoS attacks to its own servers and filters out the good traffic, which it then passes along to your site.

You may not think you need these services, since in a worse case scenario you're still going to get knocked off the net. But not every attack will be a massive one with thousands of attackers. For most attacks, these services can definitely help.

And, let's face it, today almost all businesses need to be on the net 24-7. With DDoS attacks on the rise according to CERT, you'd be wise to at least familiarize yourself with DDoS prevention services. After all, it's not only your network in danger, it's your business.

» See All Articles by Columnist Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

This article was originally published on Jan 9, 2004
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