A denial-of-service attack is an information network attack that prevents normal use of a network service. This is done by overloading the network service with traffic, preventing it from serving its customers.
Attacks can be distributed or targeted. Distributed attacks can originate from multiple devices or “bots” controlled by the attacker, which overwhelm the service with a flood of unnecessary or harmful data. This traffic prevents the victim’s service from functioning.
A targeted attack is based on exploiting a vulnerability in the service. A data packet that causes a disruption, preventing the service from functioning, is sent to the targeted service.
Denial-of-service attacks are common on the world wide web and represent a typical form of cybercrime. The damage caused by such attacks can be mitigated by maintaining an up-to-date information security system and recovery options that are appropriate to the activities in question.