A Kind Of Digital Terrorism
It is true to say that the world is becoming a much smaller place with the advent of the internet. Whilst this has enormous advantages in many ways it does also provide its own set of problems. As businesses start to rely more and more on technology and the world wide web, it is becoming increasingly common for them, or their web host, to come under attack by a kind of digital terrorism. Of course, we are all familiar with the dangers of the internet in the form of viruses and malware, but usually these are used to disrupt our lives or steal our information. The new trend is for a web host to have these nasty viruses and Trojans used as a threat in order to manipulate them in some way or another.
What exactly is the Threat?
What we are talking about is a Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attack. The way it works is that an attacker uses numerous infected systems and targets them against a single system to effectively close it down. You can be sure that a web host will take this kind of threat seriously because it could cause a lot of damage. From the point of view of the attacker, being able to hold a web host to ransom like that is a very powerful weapon that can be used for political or financial gain.
Who is at Risk?
Potentially everyone is at risk, but a web host is obviously a bigger and more influential target than you or I. That is not to say that you and I won’t be infected with Trojans in order to be part of the threat to the web host though. There has been a recent documented case of a web host being forced to transfer a domain to another web host following a DDoS threat and attack.
What is the Answer?
On a personal rather than a web host level the answer is to make sure that you have an up to date anti-virus program installed on your computer. If the attackers haven’t got the ammunition they can’t use the weapon and so a virus free system will make sure it is not used as part of a DDoS attack on a web host. Obviously, this is easier said than done as new viruses are being encountered every day. A web host can also install software that will minimize the effect of such attacks, but again new threats are a daily occurrence.