The DDoS attack methods used to conduct distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are constantly changing, just like the world of network security and hacking. At the turn of the century, DDoS tools like Trinoo and Stacheldraht, for instance, were frequently used, but they only supported the Linux and Solaris operating systems. Since then, specialised DDoS attack tools have developed to attack many platforms, making DDoS attacks both riskier for targets and considerably simpler for hackers to execute.
Some of the more recent DDoS tools, including the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC), were initially created as network stress testing tools but were later modified and employed maliciously. Other DDoS attack tools, like Slowloris, were created by “grey hat” hackers with the intention of drawing attention to a specific software flaw. Gray hat hackers push software vendors to patch weak software by making these DDoS tools available to the general public, preventing widespread attacks.
The seven most prevalent and dangerous specialised DDoS attack tools are listed below.
Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC), the go-to tool of “hacktivist” organisation Anonymous, is a straightforward flooding tool that can produce large volumes of TCP, UDP, or HTTP traffic to put a server under a lot of network pressure. The tool was created by Praetox Technologies with the intention of being used by developers who wished to load test their own servers with a lot of network traffic. However, Anonymous launched coordinated DDoS assaults using the open-source technology. This setup made DDoS attacks significantly more potent. However, LOIC does not mask the IP addresses of its users, and this lack of anonymity resulted in the worldwide arrest of LOIC attackers in 2011. Following that, Anonymous firmly advised users to “NOT utilise LOIC” throughout all IRC channels.
When it was utilised to attack the US Department of Justice in retaliation for its decision to shut down Megaupload.com, the HOIC High Orbit Ion Cannon (HOIC) swiftly gained notoriety. At its core, HOIC is a straightforward, cross-platform script for delivering HTTP POST and GET requests that is wrapped in an intuitive graphical user interface. HOIC is still one of the DDoS attack tools that Anonymous employs to perform DDoS strikes across the globe.
Similar to the ping utility, the DDoS assault tool hping is a reasonably simple command line application. Nevertheless, it provides more features than just issuing an ICMP echo request. One of Anonymous’ current go-to DDoS attack methods is this strong, powerful tool.
Denial of service assaults caused by many of the more complex low and slow DDoS attack types rely on simple tools, making them far more difficult to identify. The grey hat hacker known as “RSnake” created Slowloris, which employs a very slow HTTP request to put a server under a DoS state.
R U Dead Yet? (R.U.D.Y.)
R U Dead Yet? (R.U.D.Y.) is another slow-rate DDoS attack technique that uses HTTP POST submissions with long-form fields rather than HTTP headers to cause denial of service. A R.U.D.Y. attack makes application threads wait for the conclusion of never-ending posts before processing them by injecting one byte of information into an application POST field at a time.
Due to the nature of its attack vector, #RefRef does not require a significant number of machines to take down a server, unlike LOIC or HOIC. Only a small number of machines are required to cause a big outage if the server’s backend uses SQL and is vulnerable. While creating the tool, Anonymous operated #RefRef on a single computer and brought down numerous websites for periods of time. An attack on Pastebin, for instance, shut down the website for 42 minutes in just 17 seconds.
Botnets as DDoS Attack Tools
Using a hidden channel, like IRC, botnet owners, or “herders,” can direct the botnet’s members to carry out nefarious actions including DDoS attacks, spam mail distribution, and data theft.
To escape detection, several botnet operators have tried to scale down their networks. However, it has been estimated that some bigger, more sophisticated botnets—BredoLab, Conficker, TDL-4, and Zeus, for instance—contain millions of devices. It’s common to rent large botnets for as little as $100 per day. The utilisation of a botnet with 80,000–120,000 infected hosts was advertised in an online forum post for $200 per day.
Mitigating DDoS Attack Threats
Anyone with a little understanding of technology may launch a devastating attack because to the wide availability of these DDoS attack tools. As a result, it’s critical to be knowledgeable about all current DDoS attack tools. Keep all servers and other network devices up to date with the latest software. Access the dark web safely on mobile and DDoS protection solution to protect against assaults as they continue to advance.