Denial-of-Service Attack Definition

A type of attack used to prevent legitimate users from accessing services or resources

Imagine a scenario in a supermarket where a single customer brings in a 100,000 items to the counter. If there are other customers waiting in the line, they are virtually denied service as the single customer will occupy the counter for a very long time.

In a denial-of-service attack, a hacker can prevent authorized or intended users from accessing resources and services. The hacker can target the computers or network connections. By carrying out the attack, the hacker can prevent users from accessing several websites, using email, video conferencing, banking services and online shopping. In effect, a denial-of-service attack prevents users from accessing any content from computers and networks that are affected by the attack.

One of the most common ways of performing a denial-of-service attack on a website is to flood the website with a huge number of information requests. This will prevent other users from accessing it, as each website can accept only a limited number of requests. If you get a “denial-of-service,” it is because the site is inaccessible.

View the list of Local Resources that can assist Internet users in South Africa.