The world is moving at a higher pace and unfolding with many technical innovations in every field leading to change in many sectors. With new technology, the number of perils and hacks are also taking place. Where one community is engaged in technological reinventing others are working with sophisticated techniques to bamboozle the users. In the digital era, cyber-attacks are leading to the disruption of data getting the unauthorized access of the networks. Blockchain-based cryptocurrency is no different for cyber scammers through the cryptographic techniques that are strongly securing the network. Even if you are a beginner, you must have read about the infamous attack of Mt. Gox. In this article, we will be discussing the DDoS attack and the countermeasures for DDoS attacks which bought many exchanges on their knees and successfully manipulated the market price of currencies.
What Is DDoS Attack? | Distributed Denial of Service
DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service attack is one of the attacks which can be proved as highly destructive. In the context of crypto space, hackers utilise a number of algorithms to send the requests to increase the traffic on exchange till the saturation point of exchanges to receive further requests and finally it crashes. In general terms, it can be understood as a group of people crowded at the doorstep of a shop making it difficult for actual legitimate customers to enter into the shop, thus ultimately disrupting the trade. During the DDoS attack, numerous machines target the single resource or the single platform(preferably where the number of users is high) making it a challenge for the team of the platform to stop or track the countless machines by simply blocking or tracing their IP addresses. There are various multitudes in which attack takes place like traffic attack, bandwidth attack and also the application attack.
As per the latest Incapsula Global DDoS Threat Landscape Report, three out of four exchanges or other service providers have been targeted by DDoS attacks in 2019. Hong Kong-based Bitfinex was down for a few hours due to recurrent DDoS attacks in terms of large amounts of malicious small transactions. Similarly, exchanges like Bittrex, Okex, Poloniex, Kraken also suffered from DDoS in one or the other form where the traffic was altered and the network was overloaded with junk requests barring the customers from trading. The infamous attack of Mt Gox was disrupted by similar attacks, resulting in the falling of trading volume and ultimately losing credibility. Not only exchanges but gambling websites, mining pools, online crypto wallets, platforms of the OTC brokers and many more websites of the service providers have been jammed by attackers.
Countermeasures For DDoS Attacks
Blockchain As Boon For Cryptocurrency
In crypto space, DDoS attacks generally take place on the platforms resulting in barring the trading or congesting the network to indirectly get hold of the cryptocurrencies. Before knowing the countermeasures for DDoS attacks, let us try to understand the importance of Blockchain in crypto space. Getting the direct hold on Blockchain-based crypto transactions is difficult because of the following reasons:
- Multiple nodes in Blockchain ensures that attacks won’t get concentrated on centralized entities which can easily be crippled easily. In Blockchain, hackers need to get a hold on the multiple nodes at the same time to implement the attack which is practically difficult and even few of the nodes get hacked then the operation will continue.
- Modified decentralized networks of Blockchain can quickly send the bandwidth to other servers facing the congestion in bandwidth due to DDoS attacks so that the attacked server can absorb the excess traffic without hampering the usual operations.
- Proof of work consensus algorithm ensures the security of data on the network through the cryptographic tools. Getting hold of the Bitcoins while congesting the network is not an easy task as the Blockchain network does not allow the easy alteration of blocks.
Precautionary Measures To Avoid DDoS Attacks
Few of the countermeasures to DDoS attacks can be as follows:
- Buying more bandwidth for the platform can help in making the infrastructure “DDoS resistant” which ensures that enough bandwidth will be able to handle the rise in malicious traffic and the site or platform remains unaffected.
- Building redundancy into infrastructure can make it difficult for attackers to launch a DDoS attack against the servers. By spreading the data on multiple nodes with a load balancing system can distribute the traffic between nodes, thereby countering DDoS attacks.
- Configuring the network hardware against DDoS attacks can be stated as the precautionary measure to protect your server from attacks. For instance, the configuration of the firewall or router by dropping incoming ICMP packets or blocking DNS responses from outside the network can be deployed to prevent volumetric DDoS attacks.
- Deploying the DDoS protection appliances from the vendors like NetScout Arbor, Check Point, Cisco, Radware, etc are designed to sit in front of firewalls of the network and block DDoS attacks before they can take effect. Various techniques like carrying out behavioural baselining, detecting unauthenticated signatures and many more blocks the traffic.
- One of the countermeasures to DDos attacks which must not be forgotten is the protection of DNS servers by creating the redundancy and placing them in geographically different centres or moving to cloud-based DNS.
Blockchain-based cryptocurrency is inclined towards the positive aspects and better adoption in future. Being based on the digital network, stakeholders of the industry must be cautious to protect the network from the malicious cyber-attacks and increase the credibility of the digital assets which can be proved as the game-changer in various industries. Blockchain being already sophisticated technology with the decentralised model of operation can easily cope of with modern attacks by adding the different solutions, modifying the infrastructure and most importantly with the awareness of the users of the crypto industry. Hope in this article of countermeasures to DDoS attacks, you got the idea of sufficient solutions that can be deployed in servers to protect your platform from dreadful DDoS attacks which have the potential to crash your system.