Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attack

Understanding a Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attack

A denial-of-service attack, commonly known as a DoS attack, is a method used by hackers to restrict access to a computer or network, preventing legitimate users from utilizing it.

These attacks have become a popular tool among hackers to disrupt the normal functioning of computer-based services.

Distributed approaches are often employed to execute a highly effective DoS attack.

Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attack

Denial-of-Service (DoS) & DDos Attack | Source: CloudFare

Unpacking DoS Attack Varieties

DoS attacks come in various types and forms. Volumetric attacks involve overwhelming a network’s bandwidth capacity by flooding it with many echo requests.

Syn flooding attacks follow a similar pattern but involve rapidly initiating and abandoning server connections.

Fragmentation attacks aim to disrupt the reassembling ability of the target network. Application layer attacks exploit undetected programming errors by inundating the target with requests.

Lastly, phlashing DoS attacks intend to permanently damage the target network by injecting false update requests and malware.

DDoS Dominance

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are the most prevalent form of malware attack.

In a DDoS attack, hackers inject malware into networks of interconnected devices and bombard them with an overwhelming volume of requests, aiming to overwhelm the network infrastructure.

Unfortunately, cryptocurrency exchanges have increasingly become targets of DDoS attacks due to their growing popularity.

Major crypto exchanges have experienced numerous DDoS attack attempts since 2020, leading to prolonged periods of unavailability for their services.

Emergence of BDoS Attacks

As blockchain technology and its applications have expanded, a new variant of DoS attack known as blockchain denial-of-service (BDoS) attacks has emerged.

These attacks target blockchains operating under the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism, such as Bitcoin.

Disrupting Mining Rewards in Proof-of-Work Blockchains

In a BDoS attack, the focus is on disrupting the rewards mechanism for miners.

In PoW-based consensus, miners validate new blocks, and if they do not receive their rewards, the block validation process is interrupted.

It’s important to note that performing a successful DoS attack on a decentralized network is significantly more challenging.

Traditional DoS attacks rely on the centralized nature of networks, which doesn’t apply to blockchain-based networks.

In a BDoS attack, attackers send fake proofs to the blockchain, claiming to have a mining advantage.

This discourages other miners from performing the necessary operations for transaction validation, leading to a significant slowdown in the blockchain’s processing power.

However, BDoS attacks have been sporadic and largely unsuccessful thus far.