Companies do not only use security tools in their cybersecurity toolkit. Instead, they use tools that mimic attacks, such as IP stressers. These tools create an environment and circumstances similar to a real attack, making it easier for cybersecurity specialists to practice defending against attacks. Another tool that is the evil counterpart of IP stressers is called DDoS-booters. How do they work? Let’s figure it out.
What is an IP stresser?
An IP stresser is a tool used to overload an IP stresser with connections intentionally. A stressor is a tool that tests a network or server to see how it handles with overload. It is legal for an administrator to use a stresser on their network or server to see if their resources (bandwidth, CPU, etc.) can handle the additional load. However, using a stresser against another network’s resources, and causing the denial of service to their legitimate users, is illegal in most countries.
What are Booter Services?
Booters (also called bootloaders) are illegal uses of IP stressors. They are working on-demand DDoS attacks that criminals offer to shut down networks and websites. Booters use IP stressors to hide the identity of the attacker’s server by using proxy servers and redirecting the attacker’s connection with the masked IP address. Booters are available as SaaS (software-as-a-service) and are supported by email help and YouTube videos. They can offer lifetime access, one-time service, or multiple attacks over a while. The initial month of a package costs a tiny sum of money.
Purposes of DDoS attacks: There are many reasons someone might commit an attack: government-sponsored terrorism, business competition, personal ideology, or to extort money. Bitcoin is often the preferred payment method because the wallet owner is impossible to uncover.In addition, the drawback of cryptocurrency is that it is more difficult to cash.
The Categories of Denial-of-service Attacks
DDoS attacks are divided into dozens of possible types that already have their subspecies. A cyber attack can also refer to various kinds simultaneously, depending on the objectives and motives of the hacker. Below we will consider a few of them:
- Application-layer attacks that target applications often use the most sophisticated methods and vulnerabilities in the Layer 7 protocol stack.These attacks connect to their target and abuse system resources by tying up processes and transactions. It’s hard to detect and stop because they manipulate the information between the attacker and the target website.
- Protocol-based attacks exploit the processing power of the victim’s computer, or other essential resources, by using weaknesses in the layers of the protocol stack. These attacks can shut down services on the victim’s machine, for instance, a firewall. Syn Flood and Ping Death can be examples of these attacks.
- A volumetric attack is the most common attack that uses large amounts of traffic to fill up the bandwidth of the target machine. Attackers use simple methods to generate bulk attacks like UDP Flood, TCP Flood, NTP Amplification, and DNS Amplification.
Common Types of Denial-of-service Attacks
- SYN Flood: To overload the target system, a sequence of SYN requests is sent. This attack takes advantage of TCP’s vulnerability in the connection sequencing, called a three-way handshake.
- Ping of Death: The IP protocol allows a certain number of packets to be sent in attacks. TCP/IP fragmentation takes large packets and breaks them up into smaller IP packets. Older servers can fail if the packet combination is larger than 65,536 bytes. Older systems have mostly fixed this problem, but Ping flooding is the new version of this attack.
- DNS Flood: This attack involves an attacker filling a DNS server with a specific domain to disrupt the domain’s resolution.
- SNMP reflection: Here, the hacker replaces the victim’s IP address and fills the device with SNMP requests. The number of such requests shocks the user.
The Difference Between IP Booters and Botnets
Booters and botnets are similar in that they use many computers at once to attack another system. The main difference between the two is that a botnet is secretly installed on the computers, while IP booters are openly used to attack another system.
Booters are services for hire that use malware on computers, unbeknownst to the computer owners. As a result, these computer owners become unwitting conspirators in Internet attacks by using booter services. On the other hand, IP booters are computers that have been hacked and rented out to be used in Denial of Service attacks. Previously, hackers had to create their botnets, but now, a small fee is all that is needed to utilize an IP booter.
Methods for Prevention From Attacks
By following the above tips, you can reduce the risk of cyber threats on your PC:
- Install the firewall on the server.
- Check system logs from time to time.
- Don’t forget to upgrade your security systems.
- Try to prevent SMTP traffic from spreading through unknown mail servers.