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In a “denial-of-service” (DoS) attack, attackers aim to disrupt a service to such an extent that it becomes unusable or difficult to use. For example, a web server is flooded with so many malicious or “nonsense” requests that it no longer has enough resources to respond to legitimate requests. For visitors to the website, it appears to be extremely slow, returns errors or is no longer available at all.

In a DoS attack, the attackers have the following objectives, for example:

  • To deliberately cause damage by rendering a service unusable.
  • To blackmail the operator (or even a user) of a service in order to benefit from this.

“Distributed denial-of-service” (DDoS) attacks are a common form of a DoS attack. In these “distributed” DoS attacks, attackers use a variety of different systems (botnet) in a large, coordinated attack.

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